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Jun 28, 2011

Lynn Young sets the record straight on former executives

Lynn Young

The package was paid to five senior managers as well as two Canadian engineers.  The argument from the government controlled company is that Young’s decision to terminate the services of the executives was reckless and that the firings allowed for them to collect more monies than they would have had they resigned on their own will.  Today the former B.E.L. chief executive officer spoke with News Five exclusively to set the record straight on his decision to let go the company’s senior managers on the eve of government’s move toward expropriation.

Lynn Young, Former C.E.O., Belize Electricity Ltd.

“The fact is that over sixty percent of the monies that these executives got were their funds that they had in the pension plan.  Now we have a pension plan in the B.E.L. where you can contribute up to ten percent of your salary on a monthly basis and the company will match up to six percent.  This fund is kept separately from the company’s monies.  It is handed over to the trustees, the trustees are represented by three members from the union, three members from management and one member from the board and there’s a trust deed that governs how that trust is managed.  The fund is invested and the employees manage the investment themselves and the fund has done well over the years.  So somebody like Mr. Sooknandan who has contributed to the fund for many years has, you know, his own savings was substantial plus the interest earned on those savings, plus the company’s contributions.  So over sixty-five percent of the money that Mr. Sooknandan got was from the pension fund and I’d say over fifty percent of that was his own money that he had been contributing to the fund.  Now in addition to that when you are terminated you are also entitled to all the salary owed to you, vacation owed to you and any allowances etc… When you add accrued vacation and salaries etc… Mr. Sooknandan for example he got about seventy-five percent of what he took came from entitlements that were legally his and I think the others would be in the range of seventy percent of what they took home was legally theirs from the pension fund and salaries accrued to them and vacation etc. Now when the chairman came to see me and he was the third person that came to see me that day.  The week before one of my cousins came to see me and my good friends came to see me to tell me that the prime minister really wanted me to stay with the company and if the government takes the company he would really want me to stay on as the C.E.O. The chairman came to me with the same message and I explained to the chairman [that] this doesn’t make sense for the prime minister [and] it doesn’t make sense for me because the prime minister is out there saying that I ran the company into the ground. Mr. Williams met with the executives and he spent about an hour or so.  When he finished meeting with them they came back to me and they told me that they told Mr. Williams that they prefer to be terminated and he agreed.”

Isani Cayetano

“You mentioned that while these senior executives met with Mr. Williams and he had agreed to their termination.  In an interview with the media on Monday he said that he was there to discourage them from being terminated.”

Lynn Young

“That is true.”

Isani Cayetano

“Can you shed some light on that?”

Lynn Young

“Well like I said he came to talk to me about staying on.  I told him what was the mindset of the executives and he decided to meet with them to try to convince them otherwise.  I was not in that meeting but what they reported to me is that they told him listen “we, our severance is at risk here because we’ve seen what happened in B.T.L. etc…” They are concerned so what I understood from them is that he agreed they could be terminated and they would stay on a day to day basis for as long as he needed them and they could talk about continuing to work after.  But the issue is that they were concerned about their severance because if a new owner comes in a manufactures some reason to dismiss them then they would lose out significantly on their severance packages.”

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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4 Responses for “Lynn Young sets the record straight on former executives”

  1. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    Ok I understand all that was said about the executives meeting with Williams and that he ultimately agreed with them that they should be terminated since he could not get them to stay on, however for the money to be paid out so quickly is a completely different story since these things don’t ordinarily happened in such short time so there must had been some type of conspiracy to have those payments made. Remember My Legacy B4 My People.

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s so ironic how Mr Barrow took the responsibility to bail out B.E.Lwith the Belizean people’s tax-dollars and yet Lynn Young and associates had two point seven Million dollars to share amongs themselves.

  3. The Educated One says:

    This makes sense. I can only assume that the payout was that quick because it had to be completed before the “takeover”. I would definetly do an audit of that fund to ensure the correct amount of money was distributed to all parties involved. There has to be a paper trail of their contribution and the company’s contribution to the fund.

  4. BEL employee says:

    Ask anyone who worked with Lynn when GOB privatized BEL and they will tell you that Lynn is good with qucik paperworks that benefits him. I agree with all the above comments.

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