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SSB Plans Countrywide Strike

The Social Security Board employees are planning a countrywide strike tomorrow after discussions and attempts at reaching a settlement failed.  Some weeks ago, we told you that the workers of SSB were demanding their clothing allowance in lieu of the elapsed time for the company to provide them with new uniforms.  It is a situation that has not brought about much support from the other unions and it may have to do with what the Chairman of the SSB, Doug Singh revealed in an interview.  In that interview, we found out that those uniforms for the workers were costing tax payers over quarter of a million dollars particularly since they are sewn abroad and the material is imported.  But the workers don’t seem to have much concern over the cost – the bottom line is that they the SSB did not provide new uniforms for them during the time allotted in their Collective Bargaining Agreement and so now, they want compensation.  The Prime Minister of Belize had met with the workers’ representatives and had discussed the possibility of extending the period of time in which the uniforms are procured as well as the adjustment in the agreement to have the uniforms made locally.  According to Prime Minister Barrow, he had made no commitment that the SSB would grant them their allowance but if they, the workers, would agree to adjust those two terms, he would make a recommendation to the Chairman.  Love News understands that the SSB had presented a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with those adjustments but the workers are now refusing, saying, that the Prime Minister had assured them that they would be paid their clothing allowance.  Whether it was a case of miscommunication or not, come Friday, the workers will be going on strike …. And we will be following up with the developments in this situation.