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May 4, 2012

To avoid blackouts, B.E.L. calls for Labor Commissioner to intervene

Dale Trujeque

It may well be the National Trade Union Congress of Belize which could ultimately bring pressure on B.E.L.’s management. But B.E.L. has decided to contact the Labor Commissioner of Belize to offset B.E.W.U.’s next possible move. In a press release sent this evening, B.E.L. said that it had submitted a request for intervention by the Labor Commissioner in an effort to bring Executives of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union to the discussion table. It says, “To date the B.E.W.U. has still not presented their concerns directly to the Company. Since April twenty-sixth, 2012, B.E.L.’s Management has extended two invitations to the Executives of the B.E.W.U. to meet and discuss any concerns of the Union in an effort to find a resolution…The Company continues to await confirmation from the B.E.W.U. Executives on the venue, date and time for the meeting. With considerable time passing and public statements by Executives of the B.E.W.U. on power outages (which are of serious concern to B.E.L.), the Company decided to ask the Labor Commissioner to intervene in order to make progress in getting the meeting underway and settling the current issue.” The union says that it hopes the Labor Commissioner would be able to help, but the union still has a plan to implement if that mediation process proves to be dim.

 

Dale Trujeque, Warlord for Workers

“Just a few minutes before this meeting, we got a letter from B.E.L. informing us that they have requested the intervention of the Labor Commissioner. What that tells me confirms our view that B.E.L. realizes that the time to talk is over—it is over because they consistently deviated from the agreement and now they realize it can be tit for tat. Well until the Labor Commissioner decides how he will put together his mediation process, all the cards are on the table for the union—it is weighing all its options at this time. And as you and I well know, we can’t disclose what those are.”

 

Marvin Mora

Marvin Mora, President, Belize Energy Workers Union

“The reason for this was to give you guys an update. The update was that B.E.L. has already acted against the demands. B.E.L. has already made redundant the position of the four guys at the GT. That has got us to the table as well as to clarify any other points; however, the waiting will stop when the workers get enough. And the workers are almost there. B.E.L. is not saying in very certain terms that they are not giving us anything. What they have done, they had called us to a meeting. At that calling they said we are calling you to a meeting, [so] basically bring your issues and let’s stick to the PCA—which we have done that all the way through. So when they are saying this, technically they are saying I don’t have a problem; you have a problem. The waiting will stop when the employees decide. And I think that the employees of the company are getting enough of the rogue behavior from the company. The union does not know what the Labor Commissioner will do because we have already copied all of these correspondences to him. We are hoping that he can intervene as well if it is possible from his end. But we have our plan and regardless of what that outcome is, our people will move ahead with the plan.” 

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