Outside the House, we caught up with President of the NTUCB, Dylan Reneau, to get the sentiment of the Union on today’s presentation.
Dylan Reneau: “Yes, certainly the bill, as we know it has been introduced and as the Prime Minister said, it will go through a public debate, and we are for that as well because all workers in this country have a right to have their say in what goes in to this Bill. So, we are asking them to be come out and to be at the forefront for the passage of this bill; this bill is good for both workers and employers. I think you have to take into consideration the fact that the Prime Minister never mentioned the opportunity cost; the thousands of workers that have either been killed or injured on the job and the fact that they have been shoved aside as if though they are drone and worth nothing after that. This bill would give them some level of protection and would ensure that things like that don’t happen”.
Reporter: “But then, to hear the Prime Minister describe it, implementation of the OSH is fraught with problems and technical limitations and to hear him say it is almost ill advice to pass it at this time because of those practical impossibilities. How do you respond to that?”
Dylan Reneau: “The Prime Minister also said that we have to tone down our expectations; I dream high; I imagined all of these possibilities for years and certainly I am not going to be deterred from his statements and comments. We have to push thins thing forward. It’s very critical for our development. Workers and the issues that impact workers, also impact this country and if we can get some resolution to that, then, there would be human development. That is important for the development of the state, not just to see big buildings and things like that. We want to see people having the type of livelihood that they can enjoy life”.
All certainly wasn’t forgiven since the NTUCB’s protest in the House in December. Belize City District President for the BNTU, (a branch of the NTUCB) Kathleen Flowers, is aggravated from being kicked out of the meeting and according to her, banned, along with the members of the NTUCB, from attending the two subsequent sitting. She staged a one-woman demonstration at the foot of the National Assembly.
“When I am sitting here alone, people would question what is it about. Then I could call to banning the NTUCB from the House and we have not anything so to speak”.
Reporter: “But you were disruptive at the last meeting”.
Mrs. Kathleen Flowers: “That’s understood and we didn’t get a chance to get first warning, second warning; people usually get their warnings; it’s not immediate eviction. We took our immediate eviction and we left. So, we returned today to excercise our constitutional right, and we were banned. So, today I will do a one woman protest and I sat here while the rest of the affiliates went up after we have to beg for us to get inside”.
Reporter: “But as a school teacher, you know how rules go; you have to observe them”.
Mrs. Kathleen Flowers: “Yes, but tell me, in your home, your child throws a tantrum, you ahn kickah outta yu house the first time? No, you work with your child and bring your child to a level of discipline you want your child to be. So, we want the government to work with us. We were not being disorderly. We may have broken the rules of the House, yes, but it was to get a point across for this nation. It’s a national task we are undertaking here. So, I really felt it important in my part to do this one woman thing this morning, me, out here alone, with my Teechaz Gat Yuh Bak in the back, and I waited it out”.