The impasse between the Christian Workers’ Union and the Port of Belize remain unresolved. It is an issue that the union says that, if left unsettled, will cost many stevedores their jobs in the long run. That’s because the CWU says the port’s management has treated its members unfairly. The Public Service Union’s president Dean Flowers says that not only does the PSU stand in solidarity, but it is one that puts many families at risk.
Dean Flowers, President, CWU: “We stand in full solidarity with the CWU. As I stated it’s a travesty what is happening and it’s even sadder when the highest elected leader is concerned about his returns as a cane farmer versus the removal of almost $3 million dollars out of Belize City from out of the hands of black men. Black men who are prone to violence. The city is a war zone. These were I believe a hundred and sixty people who are able to provide for their families it’s a meager $35,000 a year I understand that they would make and the Prime Minister doesn’t seem to even be bothered by the fact now that a hundred and sixty families multiplied by two if they have a spouse that’s three hundred and twenty. If each one of them has a child that’s three hundred and eighty people that will be negatively affected. The businesses that would be affected by the removal of this almost two million dollars and being taken down south and being placed in the hands of capitalists and oligarchs who really and truly look down on poor people. And so it is sad and as a result of that not only because we’re a union but the human nature in us makes it necessary for us to stand in solidarity with the CWU and we’ll have to wait and be very vigilant in terms of how that dispute unfolds and in whatever way and fashion that the PSU can lend support to the CWU we’ll definitely do that.”
The Briceno administration announced that about sixty-five percent of the shipping from BSI/ASR will now go through the Big Creek Port in Independence, a reversal of the Musa policy in place since 2006. The union says that they were taken aback by the surprise announcement by the Government last week. The UDP issued a statement this evening in which it laments the decision by the Government. The release says that quote “in these already challenging times, the stevedores of the Port of Belize are now subjected to further decreases in income with the loss of this source of employment” (Unquote). It continues quote “the UDP calls on the Government of Belize to review this decision, which was made in the interest of a select few” (end quote).