Friday, April 14, 2017, 17:18
“In these difficult economic times, GOB continues to SQUANDER PUBLIC FUNDS in an effort to BUY PUBLIC SUPPORT, and to keep our people SUBSERVIENT, AFRAID, INTIMIDATED, POWERLESS AND POOR.” – BNTU Release, April 4, 2017
It is with no real regret, or even surprise, that we announce the timely passing of Patrick Faber’s ill-conceived and sickly political aspirations. Because dead they are, following the incredible decision by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education to take $1MILLION from public coffers as a political handout to those teachers who did not join the BNTU in its strike action of October, 2016.
According to the pint-sized (intellectually-speaking) politician, he believes that it is perfectly okay to hand out Easter baskets with cash, taxpayers’ cash, to certain select teachers so they can enjoy the four-day vacation. It does not seem to matter to Faber that just a week past Belizeans were presented with an austerity budget in which we were told, not asked, to collectively pay for GOB’s mismanagement and abuse and corruption and greed, almost $100MILLION. We were told that we could expect higher prices of everything, from basic goods to fuel to construction materials to purchasing foreign currency to pay for imports. Last week a pack of bacon sold for $5.85. This morning it sold for $7.00. Everything has gone up. Everything. So how is it that in one moment, Faber and his boss, Mr. Barrow, can force Belizeans to bail them out, and in the next moment find $1MILLION for a totally political process? How does that happen?
The Chamber of Commerce, umbrella organization for businesses which have been doing poorly under this Barrow regime, and will find it even harder to survive because of Barrow’s ‘Bouncing Backward’ Budget, lashed out immediately – “Now if you just came out of a Budget – a tightening of the belt type of Budget – how is it that you can just pull a million dollars out to pay teachers who did not strike? That makes us in the business community wonder how genuine was, really and truly, the implementation of the tax increases. If you could have just pulled out a million dollars so easily, it would then say to us that there must be funds available otherwise, and if there are such funds available then why could they not have been used for other reasons...” stated BCCI President Nikita Usher.
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, representing all workers’ unions in the country, similarly condemned the decision which seems to have been the brainchild of Patrick Faber – no surprise there. The NTUCB “issues a very sombre, serious and emphatic warning to the Government of Belize; as it relates to what can only be described as a very poorly conceived decision to pay an “honorarium” to a select few; among the Teaching Professionals of this country. There is absolutely no way, under the principles of equity and fairness, that the NTUCB could ever support such a decision.”
The BNTU is without a doubt the target of Faber’s wrong-headed move. He was brought to his knees by the teachers of that union who have no use for his clownish, immature, arrogant behaviour. And when he tried to punish them by withholding their salaries, he was forced to back down again. Now Mr. Faber, in a gross over-compensation for the beating his ego has taken, wants to use OUR money to divide the union
The Christian Workers Union spoke out against Faber’s ridiculous plan and in support of the BNTU, stating that “Apart from the unmitigated hubris, doling out a million dollars to specifically undermine BNTU and unionism generally in our beloved nation, the CWU sees no justification for this reckless action especially given the challenging economic times we are now experiencing and which will look likely to get worse. How this move helps Belize bounce back escapes us.”
It is the end for Mr. Faber’s political ambitions, even if his stunted ego does not allow him to accept that. He alienated the BNTU long ago, and now he has drawn the wrath of the more powerful NTUCB, the Chamber of Commerce and others who KNOW this this is the wrong thing for Faber to do – wrong on so many levels, not least the fact that he is using OUR money to make his political point. What a stupid, petty, irresponsible man he is.
Faber has indicated that he will not change his mind. The NTUCB, and separately the BNTU, have indicated that they will not meekly wait and murmur not. The BNTU’s Council of Management met this past weekend to decide on a way forward, while the NTUCB has made its stance clear – “The NTUCB cannot and will not watch the seeds of union busting being planted and nurtured! Not now, NOT EVER!!!”
The days ahead will be very interesting.
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