Union Busting

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Friday, May 24, 2019

The Public Service Union (PSU) recently held a demonstration in Belmopan in the hopes that Mayor Khalid Belisle will make good on his promises to return the Hilltop property to the PSU.  The Mayor had hinted at a proposed swap of properties with Simplex Company Limited that would resolve the matter for all interested parties.  However, Mayor Khalid has not been forthcoming with the PSU as to the progress, or specifically the lack thereof, of the negotiations with Simplex Co. Ltd.

The PSU boasts having the largest membership of any trade or workers union in Belize.  Their membership countrywide stands at 2768 registered members. However, they have been remarkably silent on any number of national issues of grave importance. In May 2018 the current president of the PSU Doreth Cayetano-Obermayer stated the reason for the union’s deafening silence was fear of reprisals and victimization of the membership especially those who are still open vote workers.

The public service has in fact increased by 35 percent in these last 10 years alone.  The membership in the PSU, however, has not increased relatively to reflect this growth in the public service.  The reason might lie in the vast number of political appointments that the current GOB has made in the last 10 years.  More often than not members of the public service who are politically connected are unwilling or discouraged to join unions.

The UDP are quite satisfied in hiring sheep that will not raise so much as an eyebrow at the rampant corruption and incompetence of this administration.  This is yet another of the evils of cronyism and just another in the arsenal of tactics GOB uses in its attempts at union busting.  By reducing the relative percentage of employees who are members, it weakens the position of the PSU whose strength lie precisely in numbers.

The PUP is cognizant of the strengths of unions because they share the same genesis.  Both operate under the same tenets of “social, economic and environmental justice.”  The PSU will have their next AGM on June 1, 2019.  At the Belize Times, we entreat you to raise your voices against the many injustices perpetrated in our beautiful Belize.  We urge you to raise your voices and demand that Hilltop be returned to the PSU.  We call on you to denounce the corruption prevalent in every government ministry and department.  Your indifference and silence aid the shackles that keep Belize oppressed, destitute, and prisoner.

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