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Sep 16, 2022

Chamber Says Ministry of Labor Could Have Convened a Zoom Meeting

According to Blake, other mediums could have been used to convene a meeting of the relevant government bodies to discuss the matter of employee compensation. The chamber president also spoke about the possible financial effects of holiday on business owners who are still recovering from the setbacks by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Marcello Blake

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

“The response, taken in its parts, looks at Cabinet to be consulted, as well as the Labor Advisory Board.  The Labor Advisory Board, you will know that the letter written by the Chamber was copied to the unions and copied to the government and so, those are all members who are part of the LAB.  But in any event, if there was to be wider consultation, we look at the digital transformation that the government continues to promote and push.  There’s an opportunity to put that into active effect by showing the public that in fact matters that are of national importance should actually allow for them to go to a platform like Zoom or [Microsoft] Teams to be able to have a discussion collectively, virtually, for a resolution to be made.  And it’s just the same, if Cabinet needs to consult, it doesn’t have to be an in-person.  We must look at the opportunities as we move the country further and advance in technology that we still aren’t using those tools that are available to us.”


Isani Cayetano

“This request was against the backdrop that the business community is still very much rebounding from the throes of the pandemic. Can you speak to us on that?”


Marcello Blake

“Businesses are trying to pull themselves out of where the pandemic left them.  And so, adding this level of cost without having the opportunity for businesses to plan for it does put you slightly lower into the hole than you were.  So you’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, climbing out, and then now you’re hit with this blow of an additional cost.  Businesses now will have to take a decision of whether or not they operate or don’t.”


In our newscast on Thursday, we erroneously reported that the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry was seeking a cancelation of the upcoming holiday.  We are on record to acknowledge that the concern raised by the business community was in respect of wages to be paid out to employees on that day.

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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