Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2020. 7:39 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Labor has postponed the tribunal for dispute resolution between the Port of Belize Limited (PBL) and the Christian Workers Union (CWU) noting that both parties have made positive strides towards ending their dispute.
In a letter sent to CWU President, Evan Mose Hyde, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Labor Dr. Carla Barnett, informed of her intentions to postpone the tribunal in accordance with Section 11 (4) of the Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act.
“Given that the meetings between the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize Limited have become more frequent and have progressed to a more positive and productive atmosphere, and that, as a consequence, there is good progress being made towards achieving the deliverables outlined in the Summary of Agreenaents signed dated March 06, 2020, I am satisfied that reference to the Tribunal should be postponed,” Barnett said.
She said that notable achievements have been reached between the parties which include: the March 13 counter-proposal provided by the PBL for the negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement; the March 19 signing of the Negotiating Framework To The Memorandum of Understanding on Redundancy Package; the PBL providing the names of its lead and alternative negotiators (Mr. Pablo Salinas and Mr. Peter Ford respectively) for the negotiation of the redundancy package; the March 19 agreement that the Memorandum of Understanding would be signed on April 14th, 2020, including the schedule of dates by which proposals will be exchanged leading up to a meeting which should have been held on March 30 to come to an agreement; and the exchange of proposals on the number and dates for payment of the retirement savings payments to stevedores.
The meetings were derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will undoubtedly be delayed further due to the recently-declared State of Emergency (SOE), which will last for the entire month of April, and any subsequent action taken to fight the pandemic beyond the life of the SOE.
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