By Aaron Humes: The Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) met today with Minister of State of Trade, Investment and Commerce, Tracey Taegar-Panton, about the continued livelihoods of stevedores on the waterfront in Belize City.
Already working without a net in the form of a collective bargaining agreement with the Port of Belize Limited, stevedores have been doubly hit by the late start of the sugar crop season and reports that Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) is preparing to move the bulk of its sugar shipments over land to Big Creek Port.
CWU President, Evan “Mose” Hyde, says there is a desperation and tension among his members, heightened by the silence coming from the direction of Tower Hill.
But the Minister of State told reporters that their concerns will be taken to Cabinet in the coming days while pointing to the new deals with CARICOM and Taiwan that will ensure continued work in the industry.
An estimated 1 million tons of cane is currently being harvested, with the crop expected to finish by early June. There were significant losses due to the drought in the North last year, which is expected to continue into this year.