By Aaron Humes: The Port of Belize Limited says it is looking into whether the Christian Workers Union (CWU) is conducting an illegal strike.
Stevedores have been off the job since nine this morning and work has stalled.
As the vocal group have been classified as an essential service by law, they must give at least 21 days’ notice of industrial action.
The primary concern is a report that BSI/ASR plan a switch to Big Creek Port for export of raw sugar, which Port CEO Arturo Vasquez debunked in speaking with reporters late this morning.
According to Vasquez, BSI has conducted trials of shipments to Big Creek but has not decided to switch from the City. But it does want a more efficient plan to load sugar ships and is willing to pay more handsomely for it.
Vasquez, however, accuses certain stevedores and Union management of standing in the way of greater efficiency, saying they have threatened more industrious workers not to take BSI contracts to load the ship faster for more money.
Nonetheless, he says the Port is making efforts to involve the stevedores in the discussion with BSI.
We will have more from Vasquez coming up including the state of the collective bargaining agreement.