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Sep 19, 2005

…But B.T.L. union wants no part of offer

Story PictureThis evening the National Trade Union Congress of Belize held a press conference to speak out on a number of issues, and the ten million dollar Sunshine loan was at the top of the list. Contrary to the Prime Minister’s hopes, the union representing the B.T.L. workers continues to treat Sunshine like a case of Dengue Fever.

Paul Perriott, Pres., Belize Communication Workers Union
“Our other questions of the matter of a trust company set up as a vehicle to have custody of B.T.L.’s twenty percent shares for the workers are: What kind of trust company is Sunshine? The Union is fully aware that there are several kinds of trust and depending on the type of trust Sunshine is, the workers as beneficiaries may not see any benefit arising from this trust. In fact, Sunshine may never repay the Social Security Board loan. Who are the trustees of Sunshine and how do we know the trustees can be trusted? Why can’t the trustees be members of the workers’ body? Why can’t the union and the public see copies of these trustees if it is actually for the benefit of the working class? According to the S.S.B. lawyers, the ten million being lent to Sunshine is not secured. This then begs the question as to why the government prefers to put up ten million of tax payers money and ten million of Social Security Board money for Sunshine as opposed to doing the same thing for the trust company set up by us the employees. We would have used the shares as collateral, but this requires negotiation with the parties lending the monies. Evidently after almost a year of charade, why can’t this government come clean with the people of Belize and tell them that they have no intentions of ever letting a bunch of working, poor class people own twenty percent stake in this company. Why can’t they say that there is no intention to let us own these shares?”

Other officials of the N.T.U.C.B. complained of Belmopan’s decision to freeze public officers’ increments. President of the Public Service Union Dylan Reneau called the freeze an illegal action and said that if nothing is done to address the matter then they will have no choice but embark on a number of serious actions in the coming months.

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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