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Jul 6, 2022

Chamber of Commerce Supports Gradual Minimum Wage Increase

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also represented on a government-appointed taskforce to carry out the minimum wage adjustment.  BCCI President Marcello Blake sits on the taskforce and told News Five that consideration needs to be made for employees who are currently being paid at five dollars an hour.  Likewise, he agrees that the gradual implementation of the five dollar benchmark allows for businesses to prepare themselves for the changes.


Marcello Blake

Marcello Blake, President, B.C.C.I.

“With the change though, what we also have to consider is the fact that once we move upwards to that five dollars over time, that in fact those who are already at that five-dollar wage will be looking for a possible increase because I was hired with certain skill sets and certain skill sets and qualifications and experience that allowed me to earn at that level and now you have others who now become entry level that are coming in now at the same wage I’m at.  So what happens to me?  So there is that rippling effect and impact that has to be considered in the overall scheme of things.  But for us, the formula will help to create that predictability, the adjustability and also looking at how we then look at up-skilling our workers in order for them to be able to be more productive and it has to be equitable on both sides at the end of the day. We’re of the opinion that with a formula it will be a gradual increase until you get to the five dollars which also ensures that businesses can then plan for those changes.  So we aren’t advocating for an overnight shift from $3:30 to five dollars, definitely not, but we feel that there can be a middle ground where there are the increases that can be planned for and then of course over a reasonable period of time that we do get to that five dollar price point or salary range.  And, with the formula in place, like I said earlier, it gives the opportunity for that review to happen on a more frequent basis, rather than waiting ten years.”

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