Posted: Friday, May 7, 2021. 2:41 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Reported threats by individual unions to sever ties with several members of the Fourth Estate including this outlet aside, the trade union movement has no greater friend than the press, president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) Luis Martinez reaffirmed on Thursday.
On the controversial matter of the advertising side of the press recently accepting political ads designed, the joint unions say, to smear union members and leaders, Martinez, in a press scrum called after the end of negotiations with the Government earlier in the day, called on their makers to stop commissioning them and the press to stop accepting them.
“We want to continue to ask those who continue to see us as political opponents to stop the political ads against us…those types of campaigns will [go] nowhere, because the people who work for the country of Belize, the labour movement, da clean sheet. We build this country. (Gesturing) You da wa worker, you build this country, all the reporters da working people. We build this country,” Martinez said.
Later he added, to cheers from the surrounding audience, “No mek nobody come and try think they can put the media against the union, you know. None! We are friends. No mek nobody send any worthless ads to campaign against us. Tell those people it’s because of those people we eat, and you can keep your change. We fight fi unu – when we fight, we fight for every single body in this country, whether they’re a member of a union or not; the labour movement in this country has been fighting for every single Belizean.”
He concluded, after a brief complaint that no media house had aired the NTUCB’s Labour Day message (the holiday fell on a Saturday this year), “We want to continue the good working relationship we have been sharing with the media, we want that to continue. Remind those people that we are family; never let anyone put you against your family.”
Sweet words, but we will refer the unions to our (BBN’s) previous statement on this issue, and, by the way, ask how they can help us form a long-overdue Media Workers’ Union to fight for better working conditions in our profession.
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