Minister receives report on irregular firings at Kolbe
Following reports of labour infractions including unfair terminations at the privately managed Belize Central Prison, a report was commissioned by Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse. The man chosen to investigate the allegations was Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams, and his report is finally concluded. Today Hulse confirmed that he has received the report, and he told News Five what will happen next.
Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour
“We finally got the report, the Kolbe report which was done under my instructions through the labour commissioner. We have submitted it to the unions for comment and there is a meeting scheduled for August the ninth with the honorable prime Minster to discuss other things with that report. But the report have been submitted, there are some recommendations as to how the management should adjust to the able to deal with the employees and once the cabinet has looked at it and the unions are satisfied we will impress on Kolbe to implement those recommendations.”
“What authority does the Ministry of Labour have to go in there and change some of these things that are perceived as being wrong?”
“Well the authority of the Ministry of Labour is vested in the law the labour law which the labour commissioner manages. Anything that is a violation of the law, clearly we have to take issue with. Kolbe actually comes under the Ministry of National Security and Defense so there is something there as well. One of the main gripe from the union is that the prison officers are not unionized; there argument is that they can be organized and come under the essential services act and that is a possibility. You know the constitution gives the right of association to everybody and we stand by that as well. There is no such thing as you can’t join a union. You have a union of reporters or broadcasters, that’s the constitution.”
The facility is managed by the Kolbe Foundation, which has been tangled up in litigation after continued allegations of wrongdoing and employee abuse from a group calling itself the Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation.
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