Police officers in Punta Gorda have reportedly been told to remain on standby as an anticipated strike by the Belize Bus Association is expected to take place tomorrow. A text shared to our newsroom from the commanding officer indicated to the officers that they are not to leave the district and should make themselves available if the need arises. Our newsroom has been following up on these reports and today, we heard from the Secretary of the Association, Ewart Metzgen, who told Love News that the BBA has no strike action planned for tomorrow. The BBA’s threat to strike and shut down the transportation industry is reportedly due to the high fuel prices and their demand to have the government either allow an increase in bus fares or lower the fuel taxes. It is unclear if there is a timeline that the association is working with, but we can tell you that if the government does nothing to ease the pressure on the bus operators, the association is planning a countrywide shutdown by carrying out a nationwide strike. Additionally, the BBA is challenging the legality of the road service permits awarded to Floralia Limited. The BBA’s attorney, Senior Counsel Dean Barrow wrote the Chairman of the Belize Transport Board Byron Sanchez, asking him not to proceed with the additional road service permits recently granted to Floralia. On Sunday night, Floralia announced to its customers that, quote, “a request was made by the authorities to delay the start date for the Independence Run by one week. In a spirit of cooperation and to allow for a smooth transition between Operators, Floralia’s Independence Run will now commence Monday, March 21.” End of quote. Floralia’s owner and director, Marvin Vanzie appeared on today’s The Morning Show where he spoke of the situation.
Floralia Limited officially came online in December 2021. Its operations originate from the south, and like any company, Floralia’s looking to expand, but its high-end buses and customer services have caused the company to be ostracized.
We are following this story.