New president promises NTUCB will be “powerhouse”

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) held its Annual General Meeting on the island of Caye Caulker this past weekend, highlighted by the election of a new executive. Former vice-president Marvin Mora stepped up to the post of president, replacing Dylan Reneau, after running unopposed. The representative of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU) is eager to begin the process of turning the NTUCB into a “powerhouse” in Belizean politics and society.

In an interview on Monday afternoon he expounded on his plans.

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Marvin Mora – Elected President – NTUCB

“For us, top priority is building back the strength of the NTUCB.  At the core level of that would be getting participation from members who are inactive.   I believe that it is important that we get the members to come on board, and be part of the Trade Union Movement, because the Trade Union Movement really is nothing without the members of all those unions that form the National Trades Unions Congress.

I believe that even though they [the National Teachers’ Union and the Public Service Union]  have received what is supposed to be something that they should have received years ago, which is a rightful claim that they had, I believe also that they’re not ignorant of the facts on the ground.  Whenever there is a need for them to come on board, to participate, I believe there are very smart individuals in there, very wise individuals, who can make that decision, and will make that decision when the call comes from the National Trade Union Congress.”

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Reporter

“Well we see increased advocacy from the NTCUB?”

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Marvin Mora

“Oh yes, definitely.  You’ll also see more presence at a social level as well.  That is, I believe, at the core of building the image of the NTUCB.”

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The meeting featured reports from the old executive and a presentation from representatives of the Rod of Correction (ROC), the giant umbrella social justice organization featuring many of the Government’s current adversaries.

Marvin Mora says that drawing on its tradition of democracy, the Congress is as much as its members dictate it will be.

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Reporter
“How do you bring back momentum, and reach out to the membership of these individual unions, and reach back to a more active stage?”

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Marvin Mora

“Responsibility.  The key to getting this thing done is for the members of the Union to start to understand that they are indeed the bosses.  I’ve always said it, and I think many times we’ve had this conversation where I explain to you that the Trade Union Movement really is one of the most democratic systems  and organizations in the entire world, because it does not depend on a leadership per se.  The leadership is the guide.  But the strength of the Union’s decisions come from the members, and also the participation of the members of getting the work done  for the Trade Union is the most vital thing that has to happen. 

So the responsibility really is not on Marvin More and the executive.  The responsibility of leadership is on us, but the responsibility to move the Trade Union Movement to the level where it should be is on the membership of each one of the unions that are part of the National Trade Union Congress.”

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The executive will serve a two year term. Other members are: Adeleida Guerra as 1st Vice President and Audrey Matura-Shepherd as 2nd Vice President; General Secretary Rebecca Suazo; Assistant General Secretary Francisco Zuniga; treasurer Jose Ruiz; trustees Jorge Mejia and Ramiro Gongora; Councillor, Luke Palacio; Auditor, Hortence Humes; and Education Director Kathleen Flowers. There is also a Director of Gender in the person of Leanne Bardalez.
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