By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister John Briceño and Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai have been issued certain demands in writing by the Belize Agro-Productive Sector Group (BASG), chaired by former PUP politician Henry Canton, and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), separately addressing shocks and strikes at the heart of the productive sector.
The BASG cited “failure of government to protect and support private sector investors has led to illegal and damaging events in both the North and West of the country. The sector is concerned that if the law is not enforced, this will lead to a complete halt to investment and possible contagion across other industries and sectors, damaging the investment climate and Belizean economy still further,” while the Chamber spoke about the recent one-week closedown of the Port of Belize Limited during its tangle with the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU).
To them the Prime Minister said, “But what did they expect us to do? Send the BDF, beat up people – what did they want us to do?” adding that workers have the right to industrial action.
Now, the focus is on restoring relations, particularly with the CWU as in the memorandum of understanding signed last week.
On the matter of outdated laws, the Prime Minister said it was a case of giving and wanting more but the last thing he wanted, he said, was a fight, and so he accepts that the laws need to be modernized, but he would not drop his many other priorities just for the producers to be satisfied.