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Dec 24, 2010

Bus workers to be paid, but amount of employees disputed

The case of National Transport Limited continues to unravel. Late word to this newsroom is that the northern road permits held by the company have been revoked by the Ministry of Transport. The receiver Kevin Castillo was informed in a letter dated December twentieth from Chief Transport Officer, Gareth Murillo, that all road service permits for National Transport Services Limited and Bel-Bus Company had been cancelled.  That decision, Murillo stated, was taken because the company had already stated that they were not able to provide transportation to the public at that time.  Subsequently, Castillo wrote back to the board saying that National Transport was ready to resume all runs relating to the permits held the two companies under receivership.  But today, Murillo again responded in writing saying that temporary road permits have been granted to other operators. While that’s a developing story, the other issue had to do with compensation to workers affected when the company went belly-up on December tenth. The Novelo brothers claimed that the number of workers stood at two hundred and seventy-five, but according to the Labor Department, they have only been able to account for eighty-three employees because critical information was missing.  Of that number former operations manager Philip Jones says only a fraction received back-pay for the two weeks they had worked prior to the takeover of the companies.

Philip Jones, Former Operations Manager

philip jones

“Thanks to the management and staff working so hard to ensure that the workers at least get something and I would like to give my appreciation to Ms. Lisa Shoman and Ms. Lisa Balderamos for working so hard and kudos to the Labor Department for pushing on something has been released to the workers.  Unfortunately a fraction of the workers was paid and another fraction wasn’t paid.  They have only paid two weeks to some workers and due to the fact that they had stated that the receiver would continue business on the twenty-seventh of December they would continue to run the company.  Unfortunately myself, the chief mechanic and other part of management have not received any sort of payment today.”

Isani Cayetano

“What course of action is there that would guarantee that you guys are compensated?”

Philip Jones

“Well the facts are there [and] our attorneys are working hard towards that.  I personally believe [that] it was something personal by the receiver Kevin Castillo with myself and other management staff and I think it’s a sad game they are playing.  It’s unfortunate that they would do such a thing at this time.  It just goes to show that they are very disingenuous to the commitment that they had made to the Department of Labor and our attorney that they would work together.  It shows bad spirit and bad faith in the way they went about not paying myself with other management within the company so.  It’s very unfortunate but I’m very happy that some of the employees had received two weeks payment today so I’m very grateful.”

The Ministry of Labor has also issued a notice asking those employees to visit the Labor Department to either collect their payment or to assist in the determination of their employment status.

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5 Responses for “Bus workers to be paid, but amount of employees disputed”

  1. rootsman says:

    Best decision they could have made to run the company themselves, only way they will be able to recoup some of that bad debt also good that some of the workers will most likely get their jobs back although two hundred and seventy five workers sounds like a lot and the Novelo’s brothers might just be trying to pull the wool over the face of the lender, might just be some nonexistent workers on the payroll.

  2. happy in north carolina says:

    This what the goverment of Belize wants, they want the poor people to be without a job. Will for one thing here in this state thier is unemployment benefit which means that if some one would get layoff from thier job the state would pay them portions of thier pay check and the company would pay the part. The goverment need to start a kind of the deduction on every individual that works and are register with the goverment means every company that that employees. And too if the lcompany would layoff any employee then that company is in charge of sending thier to the employment office. But the goverment need to create a employment office this is where everyone that gets terminated or layoff will go to.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    When Minister HULSE……… restructured the routes…… THIS IS WHAT HE CREATED.

    IT WASN’T BROKE………. AND HE TRIED TO FIX IT…………just messing it up.

    WHERE IS HE HIDING NOW?????????????

  4. EL CHE says:

    Good idea,happy.but if their was ever a unemployment office,it will be located in belmopan,the poor belizeans will have to travel all the way from all over the country to beg for thier money.a belizean has to spend money that they dont have,miss work if they have one,just to go to belmopan to get a passport,and sometimes if it is not ready,one has to return about that?

  5. BZNinCALI says:

    Mr. Jones, I hope you get whatever pay you have coming to you but let’s be honest, do you really believe the Novelos should be trusted. It sounds like the bank is being drowned in bogus paperwork. If they & the labor department can only account for 30% of the employees legally, I am inclined to believe that they are telling the truth, don’t allow these people to misuse you & stick your neck out any further.

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