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U.D.P. Supports Stevedores in Dispute with P.B.L.

May 10, 2023

U.D.P. Supports Stevedores in Dispute with P.B.L.

Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow and the United Democratic Party came out in support of the waterfront workers today. Stevedores remain at odds with the Port of Belize Limited regarding the enforcement of a decision handed down by the Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal. Compensation was awarded to dockworkers when the judging body ruled in their favor, following a decision by A.S.R./B.S.I. to transfer the delivery of bulk sugar to Big Creek.  Notwithstanding that ruling, stevedores are yet to meet with their employer and agree on a figure.  What they have opted to do in the interim is revert to the express terms of a collective bargaining agreement signed with the Port of Belize Limited. Earlier today, Barrow touched on the issue taking place at the waterfront.

Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“I want to put on record that in that regard, certainly the party’s position is that we fully support the stevedores as a matter of historic principle.  The laborers make up the driving engine of our society and we believe that in every instance we need to be as favorable and as considerate of them as possible.  In this instance, what I hear the stevedores and the president of the CWU asking is merely for there to be enforcement of the tribunal decision.  I don’t think that is unreasonable, I think that is necessary and the opposition urges the government, the Minister of Labor, the prime minister to act swiftly to ensure that this is being done.  I understand that there was some engagement on Friday on a ministerial level.  Today is Wednesday and that has not borne any fruits, from what I understand, and it is the opposition’s position that that should be escalated forthwith.  The stevedores are not asking for any favor in this particular instance, they are merely asking that the process be respected.  There was a procedure, they underwent the procedure, the tribunal made a decision and that needs to be enforced immediately.  They deserve, whatever decision the tribunal made, they deserve for that to happen immediately.”