Labor Commissioner mediates in CWU and First Caribbean workers issues Print E-mail
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Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00

The Labour Commissioner has intervened in the dispute between the employees of First Caribbean International Bank and the international managers who are trying to make their way out of Belize. Their union’s president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, on her usual anti-government rant, has been trying to suggest in the press that the Barrow Administration used the might of parliament to fast-track the transfer of assets between First Caribbean and Heritage Bank. That is furthest from the truth, and all the Government has done is to make the transfer smooth, to ensure that all goes well and that the asset ownership is not compromised.

Since the passage of the First Caribbean International Bank Vesting Bill, the Christian Workers Union had been having difficulty with the breakdown of communication between them and the Bank’s management. The Commissioner of Labour, Ivan Williams, and his team managed to chair a mediation meeting between both sides, and they agreed on the best path forward for these negotiations.

The Bank has plans to discuss their proposal for a redundancy package for these 60 employees who will no longer be employed, while the Union calls it an exit package. Both sides have agreed, after intensive intervention from the Labour Department, to meet on September 28. On that date, it is expected that the issues of both sides should be at least tabled.

If the two sides cannot agree on a final proposal for these 60 employees, according to the Labour Commissioner, the Labour Laws of Belize, they are set up in such a way that First Caribbean or Heritage Bank must resolve their concerns and ensure that their interests are looked after.