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Belize Bus Owners Dissatisfied with Ministry of Transport

A strike may be looming as some bus operators feel that they are treated unfairly in the transport industry.  On August 6, the Ministry of Transport issued a press release talking about an agreement made between the Government of Belize and the Belize Bus Owners Association (BBOA). The agreement was to have only one foreign bus enter and leave Belize from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala. Fast forward to today and it seems that the ministry is reneging on the agreement, reportedly, due to objections from the tourism sector.  BBOA’s Secretary, Ewart Metzgen, reached out to Love News to speak about their discontent on the issue.

Secretary of Belize Bus Association

Ewart Metzgen, Secretary of Belize Bus Association: “The Minister of Transport is saying now that the Minister of Tourism and the BTB along with hoteliers have a problem with the way that paper has been structured and then cabinet told the minister well then a meeting needs to be set with the bus operators and the federation and our allies. That first meeting was supposed to be held last week Tuesday- that was postponed. We were later told in the week that the meeting was supposed to be held today, up until yesterday evening 6pm when the president of the BBA started calling all executives saying that we were still on for the meeting this morning. Most of us showed up, were already in Belmopan, a couple of us were on the way to Belmopan when a little after 9am when the president called and said that meeting too had been postponed. To us, it seems as if we’re being pushed around. The BTB and the hoteliers are not happy with what the BBA is doing and basically what we are doing, we are transportation, we are looking after those of us who are in the transportation industry.. Come on man we are Belizeans why should we be working against each other? We can’t enter Guatemala, all we are asking for the same thing that they do to us we do on our side of the border. There is enough within our own country for all of us, we don’t have to be competing with these foreigners. This Saturday we are going to home base, we are calling an emergency meeting with all our members and the people affiliated with us, that strike action is back on the table. We were told that they will meet with us on Tuesday, we are still going ahead making our plans and preparing for the worst.”
Metzgen noted that many of the members of BBOA are dissatisfied as they had already come to an agreement. This evening, the ministry issued another press release stating that a meeting for a final decision with other stakeholders including BBOA, that was scheduled for today, was being rescheduled to next week Tuesday September 3.  This is another story developing which we will continue to follow.