Tonight the talks of a strike by the unions continue and now it is not just the teachers union talking but the mothership, NTUCB, has joined hands. A press conference was held this afternoon in Belize City to talk about corruption, campaign funding, disrespect by the Government to the unions and unmet needs from the Ministry of Education. President of the NTUCB, Marvin Mora was at the head table this afternoon, leading the presentation on all the issues at the forefront that if remain unaddressed, will force the unions to take action. As it relates to corruption, Mora spoke of the UNCAC and the slow process to fulfill.
Marvin Mora, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “Whereas the country of Belize is faced with a plethora of issues as a result of widespread corruption and whereas the NTUCB, the largest representative of employees in Belize was advocating for the government to sign on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and whereas as a result of its advocacy and that of its affiliate members an UNCAC steering committee was formed to ensure the progress of the overall implementation of UNCAC in Belize. Be it resolved that the NTUCB calls on government to execute the following by February 20TH 2020. One; to implement the recommendations from the executive summary from the first cycle of the Peer Review process. Two, to immediately reestablish meetings of the UNCAC steering committee and three, to proceed expeditiously with the review and passage of anti corruption legislation and the establishment of anti corruption practices and agencies in Belize. Following that the general council met and a letter was sent to the AG, to the Attorney General, to inform him of our resolution and that we were looking forward to see the steering committee meetings reestablished and the other two items within our resolution be addressed as expeditiously as possible for the government. We know that they received the letter because we received confirmation that it was forwarded but we have not received any response to our correspondence.”
During his presentation, President Mora did not hold back as he made it clear that the call to strike is looming. In his message, union members were placed on standby and get ready to strike if necessary.
Marvin Mora, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “If our members and when our members decide that we will forfeit the labor to address these matters with the urgency that they deserve there is going to be a lot of repercussions that will have effects over not only only the government but also to the rest of the citizenry. For that reason we are making this responsible call on the nation itself that it has reached to the point where our good conscience leads us to make this call so that we all get prepared. If the government of the day continues to ignore the calls from the representatives of the persons who labor then there’s going to have to be some escalation for us to get the attention that we deserve. So we’re here today first asking our trade unions across the country to educate and to prepare their members, second we’re here also calling upon those in the government offices that are responsible for the continuation of the work of the UNCAC to proceed as expeditiously as possible with whatever work they were carrying on so that our implementation or the implementation of the UNCAC becomes a reality in Belize.”
Belize signed the UNCAC treaty on December 9, 2016. We will have much more from today’s press brief in tomorrow’s newscast.