Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2022. 11:03 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Executive says it welcomed the process employed by Michel Chebat, Minister of Public Utilities, in reaching a settlement with the Christian Workers Union (CWU) on behalf of the stevedores.
$1.5 million in ex gratia payments will be distributed before the end of February – a sum that both sides admit does not come close to the true cost over the years both financially and personally, but goes some way toward “correcting,” Cabinet says, a wrong which was committed against the stevedores at the time of the privatization.
Additionally, stevedores will be made eligible for Social Security and the Port of Belize Limited has been urged to hasten negotiations on both the compensation package for the loss of sugar barge work and hours for workers to speed up the unloading and delivery of backed-up cargo.
Cabinet notes that the current administration has avoided “the violence with which they were treated under the former administration,” referring to protests in July of 2020 that saw several stevedores injured at the hands of police.