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Jul 9, 2014

Trial against BWSL continues

Rodwell Williams

Six former workers of Belize Water Services Limited were back in court today in a legal suit they are pursing against their ex-employer for wrongful termination. BWS, however, claims it has had a long-standing restructuring plan in place that began to be seriously implemented in 2012 after a rate cut of over seven percent from the Public Utilities Commission. The trial continued today before Justice Michelle Arana in the Supreme Court with Charlette Barnett, Journett McKoy and Michael Novelo taking the stand and facing cross-examination from BWS’ attorney, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams. A pattern emerged where each employee said they were not aware that management was contemplating cuts in the workforce specifically, although they acknowledged that cost-cutting was a topic on the agenda for the union and management. They also claim they were only recently made aware of communication between the water workers’ union and BWS management with regard to the issue of possible redundancy, which started with two workers down south in Dangriga. But as Williams says, it is difficult to divorce the two.

 

Rodwell Williams, Attorney

“As much as the claimants would try to make it appear as if they were unaware of redundancy. Since 2009 the company strategic plan had indicated its cost cutting. Then in 2012, when the tariffs were cut seven point two percent, the company ratchet up its exercise to achieve efficiency and cut cost which again raised the issue of redundancy and all the claimants were aware of the heightened issue with regard to redundancy. Prior to a long before there was any redundancy yet you have heard them seek to avoid conceding that they knew of it. It was not anything unusual and surprising.”

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2 Responses for “Trial against BWSL continues”

  1. Rod says:

    This is the other crook in this corrupt gov.

  2. oscar965 says:

    I have read the Labour Act more than once and I do not see where it says that as an employer, I cannot fire or terminate whomever I want. As an employer, if I fire or terminate you, I must pay the employee his notice, severance and vacation pay, once that is done that is the end of it. If these ex employees have been paid what is due to them in accordance to the laws, then that should be the end of the story. If I as an Employer do not like the way you behave or work in my business, then I have the right to let you go ..as long as I follow the laws. No where does it say that because I have employed you for 30 years or more that I cannot fire you. All of us Working Belizeans, and yes I am an employee…I have my employer… but I make sure that I know my rights and the rights of my employer also!!!

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