The Stevedores continue to sing injustice on the part of the representatives of their Union. It is publicly known, that the Stevedores, in late August, pleaded for the resignation of President Antonio Gonzalez and the General Secretary James McFoy of the Christian Workers Union.
Dion Pitters and Raymond Rivers have become the voice of the Stevedores who claimed that they were not being properly represented by their Union. This lack of leadership coupled with missing financial statements turned these regular physical labourers into social activists. Dion Pitters explained in Monday morning’s Rise and Shine how he found his voice in the constitution
“In the 25 years I dih work outya, I have never seen the constitution. When I start to see the constitution, I realize that this constitution give me my strength me individually could approach my leadership, cansaan my business! So, I get my constitution and I start approach Gonzales, I start rail up pahn the TV because we need help because w no know everything.”
Louis Wade: “Cah e dih eenah black and white…once you find the constitution, automatically things could change”.
Dion Pitters “We no know everything, so, we start hallaw at dehn form yah weh know bout money, know bout audit, so, unuh cohn cohn help we! So, had the first meeting dah Laybaa Depaatment”.
At one of their meetings Antonio Gonzalez gave a public statement saying that he will not run for the next election due to health complications within his family. A decision was made to hold a general congress meeting on the 26th of August- this Saturday-. This congress would see it that the Union’s board of directors be fully reconstructed. However, members of the Union Stevedores
Dion Pitters and Raymond Rivers, are still unsatisfied as word out of the CWU is that the agreed general Congress for this weekend is postponed. Both men were on this morning’s Rise and Shine show in company of Dale Trujeque, their advisor. Mr Trujeque explains in the latest developments.
“In that meeting, we told them, we know the Union book. We no need fuh we two months. He said, “okay, because there was an understanding, they said that they want the financials first before the congress on the 26th of October. Well, we are on the 26th of October in a few days…no financials! Now you come back to a meeting when you try to blindside all the stevedores and say, gues what, we need money. We need $13,000. Now you tell these mein…they take the stevedores fuh fools! Where they got $13,000m from congress, man. They haven’t put that pahn the table. Leh me tell you something: we recorded all the previous meeting. When the stevedores went to record on meetings on Friday, dehn stop dehn. Dehn tel deh dehn that the meeting wah bruk up. You knwoo weh dehn seh, when dehn wahnt sohnting in secret, you have something to hide?” So I gear them to come public.”
The NTUCB immediately responded to these reliable reports about the plan not to have this general congress meeting scheduled for this weekend. The Umbrella Union went in so far as to threaten CWU with expulsion from NTUCB and accused them of “abandoning their proposal to convene the Congress, in preference for retaining its current administrative structure.” Another resonating issue that Dale Trujeque pointed out is that DFC who is one of the 15 members under NTUCB, is claiming that their members support President Gonzalez’s current administration. This claim, according to the Stevedores, was made without any solid evidence. Their legal advisor Mr Trujeque, pointed back to their constitution saying that the Stevedores have enough right and enough grounds to sue them, which is why they will be going ahead with the congress meeting
Mr. Louis Wade: “So, you now are at the right station, yes”…
Mr. Dale Trujeque: “…whole leadership of this union is an illegal body! And weh I tell dem, “yes unuh could look pahn Pitter and Rivers and see but…well then who dehn? Let me answer that: Under Chapter 304, any due paying member of union can take its executive to talk, and you know what? We can take them to court, and that option is still on the table. The words came to you all; work this thing out. So, we’re telling all the members on Saturday, this congress wah happen, and when we done, we ah show unuh e neva cost no $13,000 and it will be held at Bird’s Isle; it will begin at 9:30. So, if you want to come, you bring your last pay slip that wah show you that you paid your dues and an ID card.”
Mr. Louis Wade: “It’s time to…you have to take back the union!”
Dale Trujeque: “Yes, take it back…we will go what NTUCB is saying, they were present in that meeting in August; we will have this congress on Saturday”.
According to Dale Trujeque, DFC has no business in these meetings, he explains why
“And to the DFC people, you have no business sitting in any of these meetings because your constitution says that “members who are more than twelve weeks who are in arrears of dues shall not be entitled to credit unions or provident benefits, members who are more than six months in arrears shall become suspended (so, DFC has been suspended), but shall be restored full membership upon payments of six months of arrears”. DFC has been in arrears of about five years or more! Now, we know dem dih hold dehn dues and we no blame them because they wanted accountability. How can you come to a table and hold on to your money, want to make decisions, and look at the stevedores and say, well, there won’t be accountability to where your money go”.