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Jun 21, 2016

Minister of Labor Says Laid Off Industrial Workers Were Duly Compensated

A significant part of the economic downturn has been attributed to problems in traditionally robust industries – like papaya, shrimp and bananas. Fruta Bomba has closed its doors, shrimp farms are struggling to recover from disease and over a thousand acres of bananas have rotted in the fields after Mayan King was forced to close. Those crises resulted in massive layoffs of employees, but today Patt told us that his Ministry was involved at every turn to ensure that the laborers received what was due them.

 

Hugo Patt, Minister of Labor

“I can tell you for one that for one we have been able to speak to all of the stakeholders and I will take the case of the shrimp industry. I will take the case of the papaya industry and I will take the case of the banana industry. While there are events that have affected their capacities to operate, in terms of labour relations, in terms of benefits to the employees that is one that we have managed to keep abreast of. As a matter of fact I can tell you that before any decisions are made there is always consultation with the Ministry so that we know that everything that is being done is to the benefit of both the employers and employees but more importantly that this is done in compliance with the law, and so we have been able to speak to all the industry stakeholders particularly with issues relating to labour, specifically the industries that are having difficulties at this present time.”

 

Hugo Patt

Reporter

“Sir relating to Fruta Bomba, can you tell us the role the Ministry played in the winding down of that company and how they assisted in trying to protect the rights of the former employees of the company.”

 

Hugo Patt

“We knew from the onset because of several situations that Fruta Bomba was practically winding down. As a matter of fact I think this is the last two weeks that it will be operational. But from the onset it was mentioned that at the time we knew there were initial talks of winding down we engaged the company in us being able to preserve the rights for our people and so we look at everything but more importantly we made it clear that while any company that winds down and is closing down, there needs to be that compliance with the law and there needs to be benefits given to our employees. As such we feel very confident that in winding down they have applied the law as is required.”

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