General — 14 February 2014 — by Kareem Clarke

The president of the Christian Workers Union (CWU) – who has taken up the cause of 26 security guards who have been declared redundant by the Belize City Council (CitCo) – today reported a breakthrough in negotiations over the impending layoff of those security officers.

According to the union’s president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, in a one-on-one meeting with the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, sometime this afternoon, several commitments were made in principle.

Thereafter, both teams met at City Hall where five proposals were discussed. Although she was not able to comment on the details of what was agreed in the meeting, since she had not yet informed the security officers, she did say that the agreements are welcoming news for those who will be affected.

She said, “I believe that what we have chiseled out for them are very positive measures, as these are measures that will help them; it addresses some of their key concerns. I don’t see them saying no to these measures because they are reasonable measures and they are measures that reflect some kind of consideration or compassion towards them [the security officers] beyond what the law has even required, so that’s good for them.

“They should additionally be happy because the Labor Department intervened, met with them today personally, spoke with them individually, and we had our General Secretary at those meetings to determine what is it that they were getting in terms of their contracts, and I know that the Labor Department since went into City Hall to review the records and to see that everybody is on the right page, getting what they are entitled to, so that is very good news.”

The last day of work for the security officers will be this Friday, February 14.

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