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Oct 8, 2015

S.S.B. Reps Speak for the First Time

Since the beginning of the week, we’ve been reporting that S.S.B. employees who are members of the Christian Workers Union have been protesting during their lunch break at S.S.B. offices countrywide. On Wednesday afternoon, they all walked out of the offices claiming they were not feeling well. But there are a series of events that have the situation at a point of crisis, says CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The union sent out a scathing release that same afternoon, denouncing the recent conduct of the S.S.B. Chairman, Doug Singh, who they say, provided misleading and inaccurate information with the intent to raise public sentiments against the workers.  In an interview earlier this week, Singh stated that the cost of uniforms for employees was a whopping two hundred and seventy-seven thousand plus dollars and that didn’t even include the clothing allowance that, according to protocol, the employees should get in lieu of a delay in those uniforms. For the first time today, staff reps of the S.S.B. spoke out at a press conference on behalf of union members.

 

Leonora Flowers

Leonora Flowers, Chief Union Rep, S.S.B.

“The clothing allowance is what management has refused to pay. it has been paid in 2013, under the same agreement, with the same terms and now as we are being told, it is ambiguous within the CBA and it won’t be paid. We have letters to show that it had been paid in the past and we are wondering what now or where did this new interpretation come from. And that is the single reason why our members have rejected the stands of management. When we asked about the payment last week, we were told by the C.E.O. in a letter to the CWU, that they are prepared to pay an ex-gratia payment if members are willing to sign on to accepting the new uniform for a period of twenty-four months; that’s adding six months on to what is the norm and we have not yet negotiating it because that twenty-four months is currently in the proposed CBA, the one we are currently negotiating. Since then, we have been told by the chairman that that is off the table; there is no offer even of the ex-gratia payment which we had originally refused and they are not willing to pay the clothing allowance that became due for the period November last year to current date when we had received the uniforms.”

 

Ella Waight

Ella Waight, Deputy Chief Union Rep., S.S.B.

“It is strange that all of a sudden he interprets it different because he signed the CBA we are currently using. You can copy it afterwards, [but] he was the one who signed the CBA. For the last payment that was made, the board approved it under his chairmanship. So how is he interpreting it another way. We find that strange.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “S.S.B. Reps Speak for the First Time”

  1. Marie says:

    Not at all strange, people say and do strange things when confronted with the truth. Come on now, all that money just for uniforms? Must be made by Prada. Even if bought for the working force in Belize.

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