Thursday, October 1st, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: The Christian Workers Union says it is ready to begin negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Port of Belize Limited on the working conditions for stevedores.
It hosted a press briefing at its office today where stevedores which form part of the negotiating team spoke side by side with Union president Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who has advocated that they be a fundamental part of the negotiation process.
In that vein, Matura-Shepherd explains why the Union had to move as it did in the past few months, knowing that it faced a stacked deck going into negotiations – the other side has greater experience and qualifications than they do.
The Union’s negotiators, Aldrid Fuller, Guy Neal and Shawn Middleton were popularly elected, with CWU executive Dion Pitter assisting and an advisory council which meets to look at proposals brought by the team. Other advisors include former Ombudsman Cynthia Pitts and activist Yaya Marin Coleman.
Matura-Shepherd credits Port CEO Arturo Vasquez for hearing out the group and compromising on how to move forward. Meetings will take place next week under a new frame work worked out by the Union and agreed to by the Port, as well as past memoranda of understanding worked out between past negotiators.
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