On Monday December 29th Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd, on behalf of her client cane farmer Lucilo Teck, filed for an interim injunction to halt the signing of the commercial agreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR.
The aim was to basically force the BSCFA board of directors formed by the 18 branch chairmen to call an emergency general meeting with cane farmers who already passed a motion for the BSCFA Board of Directors to sign the agreement, to once again vote on the issue after the agreement is explained to them in detail something which was not done during the last meeting.
The hearing for the injunction was to take place today at 10:00am but according to Matura-Shepherd, since the directors agreed to Sundays meeting attorneys asked for an adjournment.
Audrey Matura-Shepherd-CWU President
“In relation to the Interim Injunction the main points that we were making is that the COM did not have a legal mandate, a resolution which would allow them to sign the agreement they wanted to sign and we were able to present the court the evidence that in July of last year there was a legitimate resolution that said that they should never relinquish ownership and this new agreement would have given up ownership so that is one point and the second point was that they should not allow them to sign until they go back to the general assembly. The resolution I am talking about was tabled by Mr. Lucilo Teck and in it he asked for two things, he asked the BSCFA to do everything in its power to have the government and ASR/BSI recognize that ownership in the sugar cane belongs to the cane farmer and that every product that comes from it belongs to the cane farmer that was the job and the mandate to the association COM. The second half of the resolution is that no agreement should ever be signed until GOB and BSI/ASR recognize that the cane farmers are the true owners. That is the only legal resolution still on that issue. When they went to the assembly in December and there was a motion on the three points that is now the basis of the agreement that they were trying to push one of the points in that agreement seize or gives up ownership in the cane to BSI/ASR which goes contrary to the resolution and the COM cannot go against a resolution, the law is clear, the Sugar Industry Act and the Bi-Law says that the COM must obey an act on the resolutions so I don’t see how they wanted to obey a motion which is not stronger and legally binding contrary to what a resolution is. The case should have been heard today, the Interim hearing should have been today at 10:00m but because there is going to be the meeting on Sunday we agreed to adjourn it and wait and see the outcome of that meeting.”
If the outcome of Sunday’s meeting negates what was applied for the injunction will not be pursued.
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