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Sep 2, 2022

C.W.U. and D.F.C. Meet with Labor Department Over Terminated Employees

Following Thursday’s protest outside of the D.F.C. Headquarters in Belmopan, the Department of Labor called a meeting between both parties today in Belmopan. The meeting went on for approximately three hours. At the end, it was agreed that a second meeting will be held on Monday, this time virtually. The protest and subsequent meeting were prompted by the termination of three employees at the institution. Today, when we caught up with the Assistant General Manager of D.F.C. in Belmopan, we learnt more about why those employees were let go. We also found out why the Christian Workers Union is vehemently opposed to the terminations. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Employees of the Development Finance Corporation in Belmopan staged a protest outside of the headquarters on Thursday, after three colleagues at the institution were terminated. Today, Belizario Carballo, the Assistant General Manager at DFC, explained that five posts have been made redundant following a restructuring exercise.


Belizario Carballo

Belizario Carballo, Lead, D.F.C. Negotiation Team

“We have embarked on a process of informing our employees individually. Because, a part of the restructuring is not just redundancy, redundancies are just an element of restructuring. But, there are other elements of it, which in our view are significantly more positive than negative. Part of what drove the revision was to streamline processes, to increase efficiency and to bolster capacity in certain key areas.”


Carballo contends that back in June, the details of the restructuring process were presented to the Christian Workers Union (CWU), the bargaining agent of these employees. Notwithstanding the disclosure, Mose Hyde, the President of the CWU,puts forward that there is a significant difference of opinions as to how these redundancies should be executed.


Mose Hyde

Mose Hyde, President, C.W.U.

“The reason why redundancy is in the Labor law is because it is a legal thing to do. And, the union cannot simply stop redundancy from taking place. We cannot ensure that it doesn’t happen. What the union is there to do is that in that case, the worst case scenario, which is not a pleasant thing to have happen, is that it is not being done in a way that is not consistent with what is laid out in the Labor Act.  And, for obvious reasons we can’t just have anybody cry redundancy at any old time. It has to be done properly.”


Carballo explained that the re-composition exercise saw ten positions being declared redundant. Of the ten employees, five of them were repositioned within DFC. The remaining five have received their notices of termination.


Belizario Carballo

“The five I mentioned is the extent of it. Two have already been terminated and that is not really, the timing was determined by them, because as I mentioned before, after we discussed with the union the restructuring approach, the proposal, we agreed jointly with the union that we would have engaged with the individual members of staff to let them know where they stood and to give priority to those who would have been adversely affected. So, part of that process of informing staff, two members who would have been made redundant opted to be paid immediately. So, those two have already been paid about a month and so ago. These are the last three.”


New positions were also created at DFC during the reorganization; some of those posts are yet to be filled. The assistant general manager conceded that when all vacant positions are filled, DFC’s cost of labor will increase. The expectation, however, is that the new strategy being implemented will also increase productivity.


Mose Hyde

“It has to be done properly, so that is what we are involved with, to try to work how it is to be done and also deal with the fact that we have individuals whose lives are  being impacted by this and we have to act in their interest.”


Paul Lopez

“Has D.F.C. conceded that in fact these redundancies were not declared in accordance with the Labor Act?”


Mose Hyde, President, C.W.U.

“All I will say is that a big part of it is that the union management has a different view on the matter. We are trying to work it out. I believe that there was some movement forward today. We will hope to add on that and try to find a positive way forward on Monday.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

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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