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Sep 27, 2005

Port employees protest for piece of pension fund

Story PictureEmployees of the Belize Port Authority took to North Front Street this morning in protest against the Sagicor Capital Life Insurance Company. According to the demonstrators, for more than a year donors to a pension fund have been locked in negotiations with the company to have the scheme closed and monies collected disbursed to contributors. Today, the workers claim that a deadline to receive their cheques was set by the insurers…but that was sixteen months ago.

Martin Garcia
“They are taking too long. In fact the last letter we sent to them, they said they are working on it, and that?s not telling us anything. They are not telling us anything. We want to know when, we want a deadline: you will get your money, next week, next month. In fact they had given a deadline, the fifteenth of May last year, right now we are in September. Everything gone up, gas just gone up. We need we money, we need we money. That’s all we want.”

Janelle Chanona
“How much money are we talking about?”

Martin Garcia
“They are saying that they have to work it out, but I can’t understand why they have to take a whole year to work out monies owed to, let me see, eight, nine people. I think that if the problem is accounting, we could give free accounting at Port Authority so that they could speed up this process.”

Following our interview with the employees this morning, we went inside the Sagicor office for an official response to the situation from Regional Manager Harrison Pilgrim, but we were told that Mr. Pilgrim was unavailable for comment. In a press release this afternoon, however, Pilgrim expressed his “sincere apologies” to the Belize Port Authority for the delay in processing its request. He affirmed that Sagicor Capital Life is committed to resolving the situation and that the company’s head office in Barbados “expect an imminent resolution to this matter.”

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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