This morning, several members of the PSU and BNTU were bussed in from across the country and gathered at the Governor General’s Field on Ring Road in Belmopan. The members held various religious activities throughout the day including, singing to gospels and praying, as well as having religious leaders take the stage. President of the Public Service Union, Gerald Henry told the media why they felt it was imperative to include God in their agenda for the day’s activity.
Gerald Henry, President, PSU: “I certainly believe as someone who is doing my best, I’m not there yet, to be a full fledged Christian but certainly I understand that I mean if the creator is not among us certainly things would not go right and that is what has caused us to reach to this point in this country right now that we have lost the guidance or we have not been seeking the guidance of God as we make decisions. It seems as if though our decisions have been more based on our own personal achievement or our own personal objectives and what we want from this life ourselves instead of what we want in this life for our fellow man. And it brings you to the thought that you should love your neighbor as you love yourself and so what you want for yourself you should want it for your neighbor as well and if that’s not the way you’re actually being selfish. So we need to share and we need to share what we have, all the resources that we have equitably and this is what we have been finding out has not been taking place in this country for quite a number of years now. How can it be equitable for you to have thirty one persons or twenty nine persons depending on which term you’re looking at, but only they and their families and friends will be getting the best out of the entire country of Belize or any other country ? And so it should not be that way. They should be working for the betterment of the entire country, each and every citizen of this country that’s why they were placed there, that’s what they campaigned on, that’s why people voted for them. That’s why I vote when I do vote hoping that the individual not the party, the individual that I vote for will be taking those principles, morals, values, ethics and so on with him- that I believe I saw in him to give him my sacred vote. Sad to say I have been disappointed each and every time. The only time that I have not been disappointed is when I didn’t vote.”
The turnout was an estimated six hundred persons, most of whom were members of the BNTU. Henry was asked to comment on the low turnout of PSU members that has become the norm in strike actions taken by joint unions.
Gerald Henry, President, PSU: “What is happening is that the teachers have been down this road several times before. Not to say that PSU has not been but it’s been quite a while. As you know we were in sort of a coma for quite a number of years.”
Reporter: Like disorganized.
Gerald Henry, President, PSU: “Yeah so we lost some of our organization and so on and of course our membership has not been getting the understanding of the need to come out and we need to start to do a better job with educating our members as to why it is that they should come out to support the cause that we’re actually fighting for and we have to also let them understand the power that they have because that’s where they’re actually falling they are not realizing that we are the ones who if we are missing for one day out of our jobs the crisis that will take place in this country any government will have to go back, will have to call us back to the table to discuss whatever issue, that will be the final offer at that time when we decide as public officers that this is the final offer.”
Henry added that he encourages his fellow public officers to go out and show their support for their fellow union members.