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US shutdown affects Belize

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We have been following the shutdown in the United States that has resulted in a partial shutdown of the Miami International Airport, workers not being paid and businesses being closed due to the stalemate currently taking place between the Democrats and the Republicans.  Today, Belize has seen a direct impact of this shutdown as several workers at the US Embassy were given letters today that will essentially put them on furlough; that means in a few weeks they will be going home indefinitely without pay.  As is, the last time the employees at the US Embassy received a salary was the week of December 24. Since then, they have been going to work but have not collected their salaries.  The furlough is being effected in accordance with the Labour Laws of Belize.  If an employee has been working for less than a year then they would get two weeks notice before their leave of absence begins.  For those working from one to five years; they get to stay on the job for four more weeks and for thos working over five years, they get eight weeks notice.  Despite the notice, however, the workers would still be working without getting a salary until the issue is resolved in the United States and funding is released to the various departments.  The concerns of most of the workers are their mortgage payments and the not-knowing when they would be getting paid or returning to work.  The embassy has not issued an official release on the matter.

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