Rules of the Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal for Longshoremen

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2022. 7:48 PM CST.

By Aaron Humes: The five-member Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal ruled that the Port of Belize must immediately confirm the major stevedores in the case as registered stevedores; promote the 28 secondary substitutes to primary substitutes and invite them to participate in its insurance plan starting today; pay their share of the retirement savings contributions of the aforementioned longshoremen from July 13 to the date the dispute was brought to the attention of Minister of Labor Oscar Requeña, and that the parties immediately enter into negotiations for payment under of the redundancy plan as agreed between the parties on March 6, 2020.

The basis of the claim giving rise to the industrial action is, according to the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU), citing Section 15 of the Essential Services Dispute Resolution Act, Chapter 298 of the Laws of Belize , revised edition 2011, “Despite various attempts, including with the involvement of your department, a number of outstanding issues between the CWU and PBL remain unresolved. These issues include the layoff plan for stevedores with the shift of bulk sugar exports from the port of Belize City to the port of Big Creek, the filling of container gangs and a date to resume stalled negotiations for a new collective bargaining for PBL staff. .” The last point has since been concluded.

The decision will be written shortly and the Department of Labor thanked everyone involved for their hard work and active participation in this important quasi-judicial process. Since the Notice of Dispute, according to a government statement, the Department of Labor has played a pivotal role in transitioning the case through respectful dialogue and mediation to the Services Arbitration Tribunal. essential.

The members of the Tribunal are President William Lindo and members Fermin Olivera and Wilfredo Galvez, appointed by the Minister; Marcello Blake, nominated by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI); and Hubert Enriquez, nominated by the National Trades Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB).

We have sought comments from Andy Lane, CEO of Port of Belize Limited (In Receivership) and CWU Chairman Evan “Mose” Hyde on this late-breaking story.


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Michelle J. Kelley