We asked Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd about the status of soon-to-be former employees of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML), who are expected to join the Belize City Council.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had assured, as part of efforts to end strike action by the disaffected workers, that the majority would be hired by the Council.
On Wednesday CWU President Audrey Matura Shepherd, whose union represents Belize City Council workers, says they will be holding the P.M., and whoever is Mayor of Belize City next year, to their word.
“The Prime Minister has publicly said what it will be. That is what placated and appeased the employees. We will act on that good faith until otherwise is sure. I know for sure that when the employees were planning to have two days of protest in the city, and the reason they held back that protest was because they were told [that their] jobs were secure come 2015, because the city council will absorb you.
One of the things I can tell you for sure is that union will be working with them before and after, when they become employees of the city council. As you know CWU is representing workers there and all indications from us right now, we are on a good track in that we are working on trying to formulate a collective bargaining agreement to be signed by this present mayor.
We are still working out some final details before we present to him the draft. One of the things we are conscientious about is the fact of the possible changing face of that entity come 2015, but we will be representing every employee.”
According to Audrey Matura-Shepherd, workers are concerned that they also have the tools and equipment they need to get their work done, and she has received no complaints on that end.