Chamber approves change to essential service law for Port

Posted: Friday, December 18th, 2015. 9:20 p.m. CST

dean-barrow-q-and-a-1024x576By Aaron Humes: The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has issued a release congratulating Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his administration on the recent signing of the Statutory Instrument (SI) amending section 2 (a): Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act Chapter 298 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2011 which makes port loading services essential and forces striking workers to give 21 days’ notice before taking industrial action.

It is, says the Chamber, a necessary and appreciated move, because Belize heavily relies on importation and earns foreign exchange through the export of commodities, and the shut down of the Port severely affected the economy of Belize.

The BCCI notes that it is the officially recognized Employer’s Organization in Belize by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and has been engaged through the tri partite mechanisms. The BCCI says it has been advocating for a comprehensive review of the Labour Act since 2009 and has made representation through the Labour Advisory Board to include Port Services as an essential service.

As we noted, Port manager Arturo Vasquez is current president of the BCCI.

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