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Union and BEL Negotiate for Partnership Collective Agreement

Since the start of the week, our news centre has been receiving information that workers from the Belize Electricity Limited have been on a sick out or go-slow after their request for a ten percent raise in salary among other things is not being fulfilled.  We have made several calls to members of the union including the head of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Marvin Mora, who incidentally, was out sick from work yesterday.  Mora told Love News via text message yesterday, quote, “I really don’t know what you are talking about but if the rest of my brothers and sister are doing something like that then I am sure they saw it was necessary.”  End of quote.  Today, we received further reports that ninety workers were out of the office on a sick out.  Again, we contacted, a union member, namely, Henry Balam, the head of the Belize Energy Workers Union, who told us that they are not speaking to the media and that official information would have to come from the lead negotiator, Sean Fuller.  Our attempts to reach Fuller, however, have been futile.  We did, however, speak to the Public Relations Officer of the Belize Electricity Limited, Vonetta Burrell, who told us that the information of ninety persons not reporting to work is untrue.  She did, however, conceded that negotiations have been ongoing since November 2014 for a Partnership Collective Agreement and that the negotiations are agreed by a protocol which partly dictates that both parties are not permitted to make public statements on the ongoing negotiations.  When asked for a time frame as to when negotiations would conclude, Burrell referred us back to the protocol of not being able to discuss the matter.  Love News understands that part of the negotiations includes a request for a ten percent increase in salaries.