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Apr 12, 2011

Former National Transport Bus Workers still not paid

It has been tough for the former employees of National Transport Limited. Since the company went into receivership late last year, they have been in limbo over salaries owed to them. Another round of meetings was held today with the Labor Department but that might not bring any comfort to the workers. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

On December 10th of last year National Transport was declared insolvent when it failed to meet its debt obligations with its bankers.  The transportation giant, owned jointly by brothers David and Tony Novelo, subsequently went into receivership leaving majority of its employees jobless.  Despite the argument and protests over compensation that later ensued between former workers, the company’s receiver and the Labor Department only a handful was given severance.  Today, after several months of negotiating the status of their payment the remaining employees who have not received a penny for their years of service were back in front of the Labor Department.

Phillip Jones

Phillip Jones, Former Operations Officer, Nat’l Transport

“It has already been four months; it has been a hard four months. I personally have tried to seek employment both as a courier or part time and to be honest there is nothing out there.  Everyone you go to there is nothing or they’re letting off, they’re downsizing or cutting salaries so I mean for the majority of us it has been a hard, tough four months and almost a lifetime if you ask [me] in terms of debts and bills just accumulating.”

Hector McKoy

For Hector McKoy those bills had already began mounting earlier this year when he joined a gathering on Albert St. West to protest wages.

Hector McKoy, Former Supervisor, Nat’l Transport (File: January 4th, 2011)

“Tomorrow school open. Wih children gwein dah school tomorrow [and] weh wih wah tell wih children wih noh got money fi give dehn. Ah mean dah mawning when dehn children wake up and say daddy mek ah get lee money fi school weh ah wah tell dehn? I noh have it, you know, I mean ih rough and ih dih get worse and worse.”

According to Phillip Jones, former operations officer for National Transport, if there is no agreement with the Labor Department; legal action will be the next step.

Phillip Jones

“The indication I have received is that if they dont meet with the Labor Department that there will be court action taken.  At this point in time for the last two months they have been preparing for the court so at this present moment we are here [having been] invited to a meeting to know what will be the court date or whats the current position if the court or the date of the court will be addressed or such for today.”

News Five spoke with Jones following today’s meeting and we were informed that the Labor Department has exhausted all options to avoid court action but that Castillo’s failure to meet with them has resulted in that decision being taken. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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8 Responses for “Former National Transport Bus Workers still not paid”

  1. EMS says:

    This story is just another example of how some members of society are protected by the law, while others have no protection under the law. I am quite sure the Novello’s are living very comfortable and cozy as the beat goes on.

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    Sue your former bosses, they screwed you & the bank & expect the Belizean taxpayers to pick up the pieces as usual.

  3. Elias says:

    This guy is complaining that no job is available? He is a young man, that is not crippled. He wants an office job where he can continue to rob the company blind. he can take up a machete, a weed eater and clean some yards. He is waiting for someone to hand him a silver spoon.
    IDIOT!!! Find a job… anything, you will need it to pay court costs.

  4. enuff mein! says:

    i recognize some of those workers on the newslast night. in fact, i was itting at a red light on C.A. Blvd when he overtook me. he apparently was in so much of a rush he had to pass 4 sitting cars to rush through the red light. so interested, i followed him, to where he went through yabra to regent street and parked at the court house. i eased up next to him and remarked that he flew through the red lights on d blvd. and reminded him that he is a bus driver with people’s lives in his hands. he crossed hiss eyes and made a “mentally retarded ‘DUH’” at me while making fun. it was ironic that th ebus he was driving was labelled “church bus” on the back. im happy he got what was coming to him. he didnt belong on the road anyway. but for the others who do obey traffic laws and take their job seriously, too bad what happened.

  5. daveyt says:

    David and Tony Novelo are living it large while their former workers are suffering. Two men with absolutley no scruple or honour. They’ll make good politicians!

    The workers should sue them directly, forget the useless labour dept and heartless belize Bank. The Novelos are the ones that run the business into the ground through their greed, and it is them that should compensate all that suffered as a result. Not a penny of taxpayers movey should be used to resolve this, in fact, they owe US 30 million dollars! Put them in jail if they can’t pay up, sieze all their bank accounts (No doubt most are offshore accounts), land, properties, cars, trinkets & jewelry, household goods etc. leave them with what they left their workers – Bugger all!

  6. joeg says:

    National Trans. And Novelo’s same difference. I recognize some old Novelo’s bus driver’s : what they never get the sense the first time?

  7. Queen Bee says:

    Jones why are you always at the forefront talking nonsense. Boy you have my sympathies cause you’ve been taken for a ride and it seems you’ve enjoyed it. Why have we not heard from Tony and David, you don’t own zip! shut you mouth boy cause you look foolish.

  8. disgusted says:

    I remember when you were just a little conductor then they gave you the title of Operations Officer and it gone to your head. Relaz, you on you own. your former bosses throw you out to the dogs!

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