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C.W.U. Attorney on Dispute Mechanism

Jun 28, 2023

C.W.U. Attorney on Dispute Mechanism

Darrell Bradley

Attorney Darrell Bradley, who represents the Christian Workers Union, says that the law puts in place the tribunal as the dispute resolution mechanism. ESAT decisions should be final. He explains that the union has been mature in the process, despite the award having been issued in their favour sixteen months ago.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney for Christian Workers Union

“The CWU has been acting in good faith. The CWU came before the tribunal and a decision was made sixteen months ago and the law says that that decision is final. And what our position is is that if that decision is final, then the decision has to be complied with. So one of the things that is very important is that the stevedores are approaching this and the Christian Workers Union are approaching this decision in a very mature and sober way. The Christian Workers Union has waited sixteen months for enforcement and their position is not to take it in any confrontational way. They came back before the tribunal because that is the mechanism that the law provides for resolving the dispute. If I have a dispute and the dispute is resolved and I win the decision, I expect in good faith that the parties will comply with that decision. That decision is very clear and very specific. It says that you will come to the table and in terms of the original agreement; the original agreement actually has timelines for when the parties will come to the table and make these commitments in terms of payments and those timelines are from 2020. We are now in 2023. So we have the written agreements, we have the tribunal decision which is sixteen months ago. Clearly there is a disagreement as to what the wording of the award means. The position Christian Workers Union is that there is no ambiguity; the decision is actually quite clear. But what occurs is that the Port of Belize comes to the table and they just said well we complied cause we looked you in the face and we’ve spoken to you. And we say that is not compliance. Compliance has to be meaningful. The agreements and the tribunal award refers to specific things and we are saying that these things have to be complied with otherwise that is not compliance. And we will go to the tribunal because that’s the mechanism set up in law.”

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