The Port of Belize Limited is planning to terminate 36 of its employees on the basis of redundancy. A letter was sent to the Christian Workers Union (CWU) with the details, a few days after the union gave its 21 days’ notice to strike. According to the CWU President, Evan Mose Hyde, things are moving in the wrong direction between PBL and the union. It is a major concern for the union as twenty-nine of the thirty-six employees on the chopping block are union members.
Evan Mose Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union: “A letter was sent to both the union and the Labor Department initiating redundancy procedure or redundancy intent from PBL where they’re going to give the need to fire thirty six workers. They have listed those workers, twenty nine of the thirty six are union members, four of the twenty nine are union reps and so in our view that there is no coincidence to that ratio and we believe it’s a clear case of a frontal assault on the union that is our position. We will have to of course respond with the required intervention, it will be a process of vetting an verifying what it is the port is claiming justified the terminating of thirty six hard working Belizeans. Our position is that this is definitely a move in the wrong direction and as far as we’re concerned it’s really bad faith because the situation is we’re in the middle of trying to resolve what we believe to be a very illegal reduction of wages without due process, without our member’s consent which we believe by labor law is not legal. So we’re in the process of trying to one get that corrected and two in order to have a conversation about how to handle the alleged crisis that they have that we provide be provided the financial documents to be able to independently verify the state of the company which they have not done as yet. And so in the middle of trying to resolve that we are then presented with this very very unfair assault.”
Love News understands that before the Port of Belize can terminate the employees they will have to submit to the Labour Department, the amount of money they will be paying each worker as well as the amount of notice pay they will be receiving. While the Labour Department would not intervene in the decision made by the Port of Belize, they are there to ensure that the workers are paid and terminated in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Up to news time tonight, we understand that the figures are yet to be sent in to the Labour Department for review. Love News continues to follow this story.