The Port of Belize Limited has taken the decision to cut salaries by twenty percent for executives and senior managers and fifteen percent for middle management. As we reported yesterday, this is due to a significant reduction in their revenues. Today, we spoke with the Port Receiver, Arturo Vasquez, who further explained the reason for the salary cuts. He also gave a projection of when they expect revenues to normalize.
Artutro Vasquez, Receiver, Port of Belize: “As you know all businesses are feeling a little pinch now with the economy that has gone down a bit. Of course importations have gone down so the cargo coming in has reduced so the revenue has also reduced for the port. The fact that the tourism is down that is also affecting the port in relation to piloting that we would do for the cruise ships that has also gone down to a nil so in a nutshell there has been quite a reduction. The port has held out as long as it could but now there has to be consideration so we are still deciding where we will go with this but we certainly will have to have some salary cuts for management we are certain and of course the port is unionized so that is something that has to be discussed with the unions first. We’re hoping to get them done in June and we have to propose a period of time. We’re looking at possibly three to six months. Of course we would want to study it every two months to see if we are back on track of course but to be realistic I don’t think that anybody would look at the economy right now and figure it. I would be believe a realistic period of time to give would be maybe six months for it to start trickling back.”
The Port of Belize is prepared to meet with their workers’ union to discuss the matter. Vasquez also stated that they have already attempted to cut others costs where necessary.