As we reported yesterday, the leader of the Public Service Union, President Eldred Neal is being asked to resign from that post due to inflammatory remarks he allegedly made against the Garifuna community. The remarks were made during a conversation between Neal and other trade union executives and someone recorded it. Following that , a letter dated May 6th , from PSU members, was sent to Neal, in which it partly says that
“We are now in receipt of information which not only confirms the veracity of such statements but establishes that indeed you are engineering a plan to replace executive members of the council on the basis of their racial background.”
Eldred Neal: “I gone da south last month and the *#$! they soh fixed pon position. We deh da wah meeting di tell they that you all came to this meeting and it’s unconstitutional for us to be at this meeting because we have the big meeting in Geneva, for us to be at this meeting and not nominating who will represent us on that level. We quarrel about it, the whole meeting broke up. The next day you know they come back and still didn’t address it? Because it’s about just they ya set of people.
Marvin Mora: There was a law, there was a law that was enacted in Belize City that did not allow the Garifuna to be here after 6:00. So after 6:00 they #$*! had to hit the bus and haul they rass outta town!
Eldred Neal: You nevah hear that nowhere?
Marvin Mora: And the creole applauded that law. That’s why they have it against we because we supported that the white people instituted for segregation. But then their revenge came about because when the education system was set up, the people from the different churches set up the thing so that the people who were educated were the Garifunas and they would educate the rest of us.
Marvin Mora: But it’s not done there. They didn’t stop there. The Garifuna are greedy for power, what the “Garif” did, was, the “Garif” decided that , you know what? Every single #&!* head of department in the public service, we gwen #*!& after that. So (inaudible) they go into the…
Eldred Neal: (Marion Palacio, all of them)
Marvin Mora: PSU, they make sure they go into the #$!*BDF, they make sure they go into the police, they make sure they go into everything. So now you see the culture.
The letter to Neal notes a
“.. deep sense of betrayal that is felt as a result of your statements and actions. The last thing we would expect is that a leader of the Public Service Union would fan the flames of racial discord and intolerance.”
Today, we tried to reach Neal for comments but it was not until just before news time that we were able to get a telephone interview from him. Our editors are working on that at the moment and we’ll have a bit of that interview a little later on in this newscast. We did also speak with President of the National Garifuna Council, Ms. Sandra Miranda, who tld us they are very disappointed in Neal’s comments.
Sandra Miranda, President of the National Garifuna Council: Especially coming from the leader of the Public Service Union, because there are several Garinagu in the public service in all aspects of the public service. You have them as Nurses, police, teachers, public officers to name a few. Then you have them at all levels of management. I believe that that coming from the leader of the union is very disappointing and we condemn those remarks. Some of them were derogatory remarks and we condemn those remarks. I think he needs to apologize to the Garifuna people in Belize.
Miranda agrees that Neal needs to tender his resignation
Sandra Miranda, President of the National Garifuna Council: In my opinion I think he needs to tender his resignation as the leader of the Public Service Union, because how can you be so impartial to serve the very public service, regardless of race or nationality. As long as they’re in the public service you need to serve these people.