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#488393 - 03/21/14 11:00 AM The Fried Chicken Strike of 2014
Marty Offline
We're calling it the Fry Chicken Strike, that's what 15 stevedores did last night at the Port of Belize. A Seaboard vessel with 95 containers was waiting to unload. The gang goes on at 6:00 pm and can take as much as 24 hours to finish a shift - after which they take home a sizeable pay cheque.

But last night they refused to work - and that's because they got served this: pasta salad, barb-que chicken and a dinner roll. The stevedores said they wanted New Asia Fried Chicken and nothing else.

The Port Management - which is responsible for feeding the stevedores - wasn't about to provide that, so the stevedores went on a spontaneous and complete strike. They refused to work on even a single container, and when the usual turkey sandwiches were brought at midnight, they refused that as well. It's not until this morning until we are told - chicken tacos were brought that they agreed to start working. All told, they struck for 12 hours, from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am - and seriously delayed the offloading of the biggest cargo ship to Belize - which just had to wait. It got so bad that the agent for the Seaboard vessel was threatening to pull the ship - which would have cost everyone involved - including the stevedores tens of thousands of dollars. The Port of Belize says they are officially treating it as an illegal strike. We could not reach CWU Union President Audrey Matura Shepherd but we spoke to stevedores form other gangs who say that substandard food has been an issue for sometime - with the stevedores saying the Port management is giving them food the managers wouldn't eat.

And while it is a now a serious labour dispute with implications going forward, the part we're interested in is this New Asia Fried Chicken. In a city with literally dozens of fried chicken joints why New Asia?

To use a colloquialism, you'll say "we di tek serious thing mek joke," but, truly, not all fried chicken is created equal, so we went to New Asia on Vernon Street to find out what makes their chicken so special.

As we found out it's an ancient Chinese secret - even if the seasoning man is creole:

Dennis Green, Seasoning-man - New Asia Restaurant
"Well Jules its ingredients that I cannot say. It is special ingredients that we use and no one uses it - Kick Down Fence, Li Chee - only we, so I can't say what it is because they might use it. Sorry about that Jules, but I cannot tell you."

Jules Vasquez
"So indeed there is a difference in the flavor at New Asia chicken?"

Dennis Green, Seasoning-man - New Asia Restaurant
"Far way, from the time the stevedores want us, we are the best. Everybody supposed to know that New Asia has the best chicken."

Jules Vasquez
"And so you handle the seasonings because one would think that because its New Asia Restaurant, it would be a Chinese person?"

Dennis Green, Seasoning-man - New Asia Restaurant
"I cut up the chicken and I do all the seasonings. All they do is mix the seasonings together and I season after that - i do everything else after that. They just show me the ingredients to put in there. So it's like I am a black Chinese, since it's for Chinese."

New Asia has been in business on Vernon Street for 25 years - and at night - you can find patrons lined up for their fried chicken and steak dishes.

Channel 7


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#488395 - 03/21/14 11:15 AM Re: The Fried Chicken Strike of 2014 [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
They say that an army marches on its stomach --- who in management missed the memo on the right chicken?

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#488410 - 03/21/14 12:36 PM Re: The Fried Chicken Strike of 2014 [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Dissing stew chicken too
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