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Nov 21, 2017

Unions Frown on B.T.L. Settlement; Will Workers Get Shares?

The more than half a billion-dollar in settlement for Belize Telemedia Limited with its former owners has been paid off, but at what cost to the nation? President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Floyd Neal, told us today that the nationalization of the company in 2009 and again in 2011 was presented as a grand deal for Belize, which would free the country of an oppressive regime. Eight years later, that euphoria has worn off, and disappointment has set in. But of more immediate concern to employees of B.T.L., most of which are unionized with the Belize Communication Workers’ Union, is whether they still own any shares in the company. Neal says the Union will be speaking about that issue when it is ready.

 

Floyd Neal

Floyd Neal, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize

“We were initially excited about the fact that it was nationalized; we were led to believe that it was a good deal for Belize. The way things have developed in terms of the various court cases is very disappointing, but on that matter we will defer to the union representing the workers there to speak on their own view of how things should be operating at B.T.L. But we are disappointed, after the initial euphoria about the nationalization, about what it has cost us.

 

Aaron Humes

“Are you aware of whether the Union knows if workers there do have shares in the company? Because it would seem that the Government has all the shares – are they going to transfer those back to the workers? Are you briefed from the Communications Workers’ Union about that?”

 

Floyd Neal

“Again, on that matter, we know that the Belize Communications Workers’ Union, that is one of the topics that they were dealing with, so I would prefer that they speak for their membership on that issue and we will hold our peace for right now. We would prefer that they speak for their members on that.”

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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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