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Feb 18, 2016

Fruta Bomba Layoffs Continue As Factory Winds Up Papaya Operation

As we reported last week, Fruta Bomba Limited and Belize Food Packers are packing up and leaving Belize for other destinations. The exporters of Caribbean red papaya say labour costs are cheaper in places such as Dominican Republic, despite the many duty exemptions granted to the company. The company expects to take six months to exit Belize and there will a gradual layoff of its two hundred and fifty-one employees. Tonight there is word that seventy employees are being sent home and more will be laid off in the days to come. When we interviewed employees last week, they feared for their jobs.

 

Voice of: Martin Escobar, Employee, Belize Food Packers Ltd. [Feb. 11th, 2016]

“Basically now it is official that six month now, whoever will stay will stay and who will go will go. And the rest will have to do most of the job until it’s done, for six months.”

Duane Moody

“How many persons work here?”

 

Voice of: Martin Escobar

“Right now, about fifty, but now it will stay less.”

 

Voice of: Raul Pott, Employee, Belize Food Packers Ltd. [Feb. 11th, 2016]

“We got a meeting this morning and the boss said that the papaya will shut down in six months, but next week about nine or ten will get fired because we don’t got no more work to do.”

 

Duane Moody

“You’re one of those persons that won’t last the six months?”

 

Voice of: Raul Pott

“Not really sure because the boss says he will evaluate next Friday who works and he will decide who will stay or who will get fired.”

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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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