PM Briceno Updates Stevedores Situation: Agreement Hoped for Soon

PM Briceno Updates Stevedores Situation: Agreement Hoped for Soon

Prime Minister Briceno also gave an update on the situation with the Christian Workers Union and the stevedores.  As we reported, the stevedores met with the Prime Minister with an aim to settle the sugar redundancy matter, among other issues.  According to Briceno, he was hoping to have an agreement signed by the weekend.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The interim board of directors have sent a proposal to the leadership which they rejected. So I said okay let’s look at what was sent to you and what is it that you’re rejecting. There are two main issues one issue was they wanted to reduce the number of gangs or groups that work from fourteen to twelve and they objected they said well they don’t want that to happen. I said well in the CBA, in the collective bargaining agreement that you signed you already agreed to thirteen so can we settle on thirteen ? They said yes. They settled on the working hours that way to ensure that when a ship comes in that we will unload the shift right through. If one gang does not finish another group will come and finish it off because they way it is right now if this group is working for fifteen hours and they still don’t finish offload the shift they go home to rest and that shift has to come back when they can come back nine hours later and that’s not feasible because it costs to have that ship there and then who pays for it ? It is the consumers. Then they also agreed to good working practices and so they said they were going to go back to their membership just to get a final approval, that was on Wednesday. So Thursday we met again at one o’clock then they brought their attorneys and so they were again minor changes that they wanted to do which we agreed to and so we said let the wo lawyers work it out. I had hoped that by Saturday that would have been worked out, it hasn’t so we’re still waiting back and forth to see how we can come up with something definitive that can move forward because it’s not about just signing an agreement and then we have not settled the main issues.”

Briceno further explained that he finds it important for the stevedores to understand that stability and reliability are two important factors if they are to work closely at the Port of Belize.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s important to point out that now there’s competition. There’s a private port down south and with the opening of the Coastal Road now it is feasible for some people to offload down south and bring their cargo to Belize City especially if they know that when they go down south that their cargo is going to be offloaded very quickly when right here you know something happens we don’t know if they’re going to be on strike or if they’re going to be working and that does not help and I’m trying to get the stevedores to understand we have competition now, we don’t want ships to go down south because if they go down south government has bought over this asset so it’s not going to be making money, they are going to be losing less business so they’re going to earn less money. We have to be more efficient and be able to provide service to our customers as quickly as possible at the lowest price possible.”

Related post

Jamie-Lee Usher Denies Interest in Belize City Administrator Seat Amid Erroneous Reports

Jamie-Lee Usher Denies Interest in Belize City Administrator Seat…

An article published on Hot off the Press earlier today has named Jamie-Lee Usher as one of the persons aspiring for…
Belize City Council and Christian Workers Union Stalled in Collective Bargaining Agreement Talks

Belize City Council and Christian Workers Union Stalled in…

Despite months of negotiations, the Belize City Council and the Christian Workers Union are yet to strike a collective bargaining agreement…
Anthony Boots Martinez’s Recall Petition Falls Short by 96 Signatures in Port Loyola

Anthony Boots Martinez’s Recall Petition Falls Short by 96…

96 signatures – that is the amount that Anthony Boots Martinez would have needed to successfully push his recall petition through. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *