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Screen_Shot_2014-09-30_at_8.15.57_PMA three day workshop which is a joint venture between the Belize Workers Union (BWU) and the International Union for Food Workers (IUF) is set to commence on Thursday and scheduled to end on Saturday. The aim of the session is to discuss and analyse several components of the Sugar Industry. Today we met with President of the BWU, Ramiro Gongora and facilitator Jorge Chullen of IUF, who gave us a preview of the workshop.

Ramiro Gongora- President BWU

“We are trying to continue with this IUF/BWU, what we would say a venture that had started many years ago with regards to the support.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“What relationship like between your Union and the IUF?”

Ramiro Gongora- President BWU

“Well, we are affiliated for the past ten year I would say and we actually pay our dues on a yearly basis to them and this is paid on the amount of membership and it is forward way in Geneva so the BWU has to make a lot of transactions to cover the fees so that it could be forward to Geneva.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“So I know it is concentrated around the sugar industry but how will impact the workshop after all said and done how will it impact the industry?”

Ramiro Gongora- President BWU

“Well, the impact would be overall mainly to the membership of the BWU.”

Jorge Chullen - Facilitator

“We are here in Belize through a transnational company, ASR Group that is part of a large conglomerate and there is the idea of establishing Fair Trade agreements in sugar and we feel that the Union and the workers have a right to participate in those processes so what we are doing these days is to re-establish our work and support our affiliate in the best we can.”

Organizers say that the workshop, which is being held at the BSI Staff Club, will have the participation of members from the Union, Social Security, Labour Department, Sugar Cane Farmers and other government officials.

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