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This morning the Belizean Bus Association held a meeting with all its membership at the Civic Centre in Belize City. We understand that while the meeting was a heated one with several issues being laid on the table it was kept under control by BBAs President Thomas Shaw. The meeting we understand was to inform bus operators from across the country about the present situation facing the Transportation Industry and to find a way to move forward. After the meeting was adjourned this afternoon we spoke to Shaw who gave us a rundown on the resolutions made.

Thomas Shaw- President BBA

“Basically, one of the processes is for any operator that is part of the BBA they should not go into any private meetings with no minister, you have an association you have a president because this was actually creating a problem out there that you have the conqueror on the divide situation, where our operators are being called into private meetings and eventually they give in and there is only so much the association can do and I as the president I cannot fight for something that you really don’t want. Basically we have accomplished all those goals today and we have made it clear to all our operators that in an event that they are called into a meeting they should not go without the president of the association who is there to represent you and then we go from there because when everybody goes to the media I am saying one thing and the operator is saying something else.”

But from all indications some members of the Northern Bus Operators including their Chairman Roger Tun were not in the meeting today and thats because they were conducting their own meeting in Belize City with members of the Ministry of Transport. That meeting was being held at the offices of the Cancer Society and according to Shaw when he tried to take part in that meeting he was turned back.

Thomas Shaw- President BBA

“I was informed about a meeting that they are having in Belize City today with some of the operators from the north and we do have some operators from the north that are under the BBA and they weren’t part of that process so they asked me if I can go there to represent them and they even gave me a written authorization letter to go there. I went there and I was denied access to the meeting which is totally wrong and uncalled for because you have one guy Roger Tun and you have the CEO and I think the commissioner was there. Basically this association wants to work with the Department of Transport but obviously they don’t want to work with us and I don’t really see why if you are doing things in a transparent manner why is it that I could not be a part of that meeting. As I said I have operators that we represent in the north and all I am asking is that my operators in the north are treated fairly, that they get back their original runs that they were doing. Who is Roger Tun to tell them which runs they are going to do or which runs they are not going to do. I think it is time for Belizeans to stand up and say what you mean and mean what you say because this nonsense has to stop.”

And so it seems that at least for the time being, the relationship between Government and the BBA is not a friendly one. BBA is demanding that all original runs be returned to all bus operators and that Westline be removed, but knowing Government that is easier said than done. So what comes next? While Shaw would not go into details all indications are that there will be no more negotiations.

Thomas Shaw- President BBA

“We don’t really see the situation being resolved pretty soon so we remain the same that all existing operators go back to their official runs that they were doing and that Westline be removed.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Now this is what will be presented to government because you are talking about Westline being removed, are you going to enter into discussion with government since you have all members on board, what comes next?”

Thomas Shaw- President BBA

“Well with all due respect I think that after the meetings we send them a letter and let them know exactly where we stand and we go from there.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Mr. Shaw we see that one the Minister of Transport took back his word once when you all had made a deal basically and two you tired to enter into negotiations with the Prime Minister of Belize and he we can say that he also took back his word and now you are saying well we send a letter but what happens if your demands are not accepted what comes next for the Transport Industry?”

Thomas Shaw- President BBA

“Well to be honest with you I don’t really want to make any pre-mature statement or to frighten nobody out there but what I can tell you is that the BBA will do everything it can do in order to get justice.”

As mentioned a letter will be sent to the Prime Minister of Belize and the Minister of Transport Melivn Hulse informing them about the BBAs position and the outcome of todays meeting.

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