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Eighteen Employees Laid off from BTL

As many as eighteen employees at the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) were fired today.  As a result, the Belize Communications Workers Union (BCWU) has issued a statement empathizing with the workers who were affected by what has been dubbed as a redundancy exercise.  The statement from the union is one of understanding and in no way has it threatened protest or uprising.  According to the BCWU, in May 2020 the union was working with BTL’s management in ensuring that the staff would not be severely impacted.  As a result, cuts were made in allowances, benefits and salary freezes.   Unfortunately, BTL’s financial forecast has shown the need to further undergo austerity measures which has led to the redundancy exercise.  The statement from the union notes, quote, “Unfortunately, the livelihood of many members was impacted due to this exercise. BCWU Executives made certain that this exercise was carried out in accordance with the Labor Act and the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA). The Executives of BCWU expresses its sympathy and recognize the impact this exercise has caused its members. However, they would like to assure their membership that they have exhausted all options to circumvent this exercise. They remain committed to keeping the members best interest as their main priority.”  End of quote. Belize Telemedia Limited  issued a statement on the situation in which it explained, quote, “Today, Belize Telemedia Limited/Digi (BTL) announced a workforce reduction of 4 percent to align its business and enable nimbler recovery focused operations. We explored and exhausted many options, unfortunately these efforts were not enough. This di_cult but necessary redundancy exercise addresses the structural overcapacity the organization is experiencing due to the economic headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic which began in March 2020.  The Company has seen an unprecedented decline in revenues of $33 million dollars over the last fiscal year April 2020 to March 2021. As a result, 24 employees have been made redundant.