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House backs payment for stevedores

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2022. 1:27 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: A Supplementary Appropriation Bill for the $1.5 million ex gratia payment to 108 stevedores has been approved by the House of Representatives after being introduced in the Committee of Supply earlier.

While Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow indicated he would support the bill, he noted the “hypocrisy” of the Government in taking his father, former Prime Minister Dean Barrow, to court on the issue of late supplementary allocations, then introducing such allocations themselves days or weeks after spending has taken place, especially glaring in this case as the money has already been distributed.

But timing aside, Port Loyola representative Gilroy Usher, who said he politically represents many of the workers, applauded the move as a way of loosening the logjam at present with the Port of Belize and invited the Port and American Sugar Refining (ASR) which he said had hurt stevedores with its move south to Big Creek Port for export, to participate in helping stevedores and workers generally prosper more for their operations.

The Bill will pass all its stages and go to the Senate, but the payment remains tied up in court as the subject of an interim injunction which may or may not be lifted when the case goes to court tomorrow, Wednesday.


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