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May 8, 2014

B.E.L. responds to union

Dawn Sampson-Nunez

In responding to the concerns of the union, B.E.L.’s Manager of Corporate Services, Dawn Sampson-Nunez says that the employees were given a chance to undergo training but when they refused the offer that window of opportunity later expired.

 

Dawn Sampson-Nunez, Manager, Corporate Services, B.E.L.

“The company immediately offered to the employees involved the opportunity to train them so that they can take on perhaps other job opportunities in the company.  Unfortunately, that offer was rejected back 2012 and if you go back to your news archives you will recall that the matter was escalated to the Labor Commissioner and then it was escalated to the Minister of Labor.  So fast track now to 2014, where we are, that mediation process recently completed in April, specifically April third, where a Memorandum of Agreement was signed.  B.E.L. signed that agreement, the Belize Energy Workers Union, along with the Minister of Labor, an agreement to which we are bound.  In that agreement, it notes that the plant operators, two positions, will be made redundant.  It notes B.E.L.’s commitment which reflects our appreciation for the employment needs of the staff that the company will give these employees the first right of refusal to any job vacancy that comes up that they are qualified for.  So yes, they will be made redundant on May seventeenth but subsequent to that should any positions come up that they are qualified for, they will be given the first right of refusal.  So we’re not even going to advertise, we will go to them first.  That recognizes the appreciation that we have for the years of service that these persons have given to the company.  Over twenty years of their lives they’ve given to B.E.L.   Our C.E.O., our Board of Directors, our management team appreciates that fact.”

 

Sampson-Nunez also allayed public concerns relating to the remote operation of the gas turbine.  According to the company rep, bringing up the generator from its headquarters has proven more efficient over the past two years.

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