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October 05
17:15 2018

REPORTER: Marion Ali, –

The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) says it supports the stevedores in their plight with the Port of Belize Limited (PBL).

In a press release issued today, COLA points out that while stevedores are essential workers just as are teachers, doctors and police, they are not given the same level of courtesy and appreciation.

COLA notes the efforts that stevedores have put out over the years to seek a solution to their labour issues with the Port of Belize Limited (PBL).

“As recently as last November the word was that the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the Christian Workers’ Union had made “progress.” Now, almost a year later, the CWU has sent notice of 21 days for industrial action going into the teeth of the holiday season,” the activist group lamented.

It points to the working conditions for the men, as well as benefits such as: retroactive payments, insurance, pension, food allowances and holiday.

“There must be a better way. COLA stands with the hard-working men who retrieve the goods and services we need to survive as a country, and condemns the unnecessary arrogance of the Port and its CEO in using the law to hide behind its inaction,” it states.

COLA called on the Government and the Ministry of Labour to not “appease the Port” during the negotiations, and to consider the plight of the stevedores.

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