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Cargo Vessel Departs Belize Amid P.B.L./C.W.U. Logjam

May 5, 2023

Cargo Vessel Departs Belize Amid P.B.L./C.W.U. Logjam

Tonight, there is still no progress on the pending discharge of cargo vessels scheduled to arrive at the Port of Belize Limited. Despite the Christian Workers Union and the management of P.B.L. expressing willingness to sit down and negotiate a settlement of the existing logjam, neither party has come to the table to hammer out a new agreement.  Earlier today, the C.W.U., led by its president, Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, met with officials from the Ministry of Labor.  A proposal was tabled and was subsequently rejected by the Port of Belize.  In a statement issued earlier today, the company put across its disappointment with the way things have unfolded.  The release goes on to say, “we wish to inform you, our customers and the country as a whole, that the MV Aries 056 will not be discharging or loading any of its containers at Port of Belize this week.  The C.W.U. has unilaterally opted to renege on our previous agreements of working larger ships with a two gang rotation which ensured a continuous work schedule of offloading and on loading which is carried out everywhere else in the world.  The C.W.U. instructed our stevedores not to attend work and have been absent now for the last three fifteen-hour shifts.  This has caused the MV Aries to now depart the Port of Belize.  This has consequently caused financial damage to all stakeholders, including the domestic consumers of Belize”.  News Five spoke with ‘Mose’ Hyde this afternoon, following a meeting with the Labor Department.

Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde

Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union

“We put forward a proposal to solve the contention and the Port countered.  This happened after midday yesterday.  So I would say maybe late in the evening and then later on in the night, we were countered by PBL.  We had already gotten an invite from the Ministry of Labor and the Labor Commissioner to come this morning to meet.  So this morning is our first real coming together officially with the involvement of the Ministry of Labor.  Out of that, we had a vote on the counterproposal coming from PBL, from our members.  They turned that down and then we returned here to re-engage with port and the Ministry of Labor.  What has happened is that Port has asked for some time, so we are going to be on standby waiting to hear when we are going to get together again and see if we can essentially, we have a particular part of the proposal that we are far apart and the only way you close these gaps in my, you know, experience is by getting around a table and really grinding through them.  So we are on this side really eager to get around a table, we don’t care if it’s in the middle of the night, we don’t care if it’s Sunday, we are here to get that business done because it’s important for us to move on from this.”