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Aug 7, 2014

Mayor Bradley Says Taking On BML Employees In 2015 Will Be Difficult

As we’ve told you, part of the sweet deal being offered to workers is that in 2015, when BML’s contract expires, they will be assimilated into the Council. The Council will then be taking over the work of cleaning up the city. It’s clearly not a deal that would have been countenanced by Bradley, since he has maintained that his focus is streamlining the Council. But after what amounted to a spank on the hand and a stern lecture from the PM, the Mayor has no say in the matter. He has to do it, but he doesn’t have to like it…and at the press conference on Wednesday, Bradley made it clear that taking on one hundred and seventy workers will be a challenge for the Council.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“The municipality has indicated to the Prime Minister that as a condition of him giving us this assistance, we will absorb these people posts 2015. That itself, and I want members of the public to recognize this…that itself presents challenges because that grows the population of the municipality significantly so we have already started to meet and talk about that dynamic and how we will meet those additional expenses and how we will work on ensuring that sanitation services in the municipality is not only maintained on par but increased substantially.”

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for BML Workers

“The workers don’t have a problem being given a guarantee as to a job after January 2015 when the contract with BML ends. The details have not been worked out. The way I see it and I have advised them that in principle it is a very valid agreement…it’s a very valid commitment being made to them but there are certain details we want to work out, because I don’t think that they should be absorbed into a system with less benefits or losing other benefits that they have, especially the years of service. Some of them have been working with BML for ten years or more. So those details are yet to be worked out. One of the things I know for sure, however, is that the workers will continue to organize themselves. They’ve called on the unions specifically and they have gotten support that they should be unionized and organized so come the day when the company becomes redundant…whatever clause they will use…that they know the workers’ rights will be defended.”

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