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Oct 23, 2012

Energy Workers Union still deciding on B.E.L. debenture sale

The Social Security Board is proposing an investment of fifteen million dollars in debentures of the Belize Electricity Limited.  B.E.L., needs operating cash and proceeds from the sale of the new bonds, it is anticipated, will be used to defray series one debentures that will mature in December.  The financially embattled, government-owned utility company is also turning to the Belize Energy Workers Union to invest in the debentures.  The BEWU, which comprises a majority of B.E.L.’s employees, met with management recently, where a proposal for the purchase of twelve-year debentures was tabled.  According to BEWU president Marvin Mora, it’s a case of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.


Marvin Mora, President, Belize Energy Workers Union

“We have been called by the company to a meeting, which was basically just a presentation on their behalf.  We have no official position because we have not met with our entire membership to discuss the issue.  We have some time to do so, so we’re going to do so directly.  However, our position in terms of relativity, concerning our partnership collective agreement, is one that is spelt out in the articles.  In the first article, or the second article that talks about commitment, so we are binded by that commitment to ensure that we work along with the company, cooperate fully with the company to ensure that the company does invest feasibly.  So that’s the reason why the union has to talk to the membership because we have to come from that angle.”


Isani Cayetano

Marvin Mora

“What is the difficulty in terms of trying to encourage membership to buy into these debentures considering the fact that the company seems to be going through a financial crisis?”


Marvin Mora

“It is very difficult at this time for any management to convince the general membership to buy into the debentures offering; however, beyond that is what management is actually quoting as the reasons why they’re engaging into this offering of debentures.  They are saying, as far as our concern, they are saying that they need this money to be able to sort of pay off the people who will be, who are dealing with the debentures one series.  These people’s monies are up so they have to pay them and it might be that some of them may choose to invest back into the company but they don’t know.  So at this point in time that is one of the reasons but they have other reasons, the running of the company and, as well as to inject some money in the areas needed.  That’s what they quoted to us.”


Isani Cayetano

“Doesn’t it seem a bit contradictory, in some way, that part of this money would be used for the operations of the company and they’re turning to you guys to pretty much invest in the operations?  Wouldn’t it be like you’re paying yourselves, you’re being solicited to invest, only to pay yourself?”


Marvin Mora

“Not only that, we also find it strange that you are quoting as one of the reasons to ask the general public to invest in B.E.L. to pay the people who have already invested.  It is like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and we’ve already expressed that concern to them.”


The Belize Energy Workers Union is also awaiting feedback from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize before making a decision on the purchase.

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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5 Responses for “Energy Workers Union still deciding on B.E.L. debenture sale”

  1. Rod says:

    When everyone in management is stealing its hard to convince anyone to put their hard earned money into anything and that is with every aspect of this useless corrupt pm and gov. When the corruption starts from the top down this is what you get lone thief di go on all the poor belizeans. Social security money has been stolen by this gov. Kick them out people kick them out nuance judas barrow guan.

  2. Ras says:

    It is difficult for any Union/employer’s organization to support an investment by the management of a company who refuse to engage the Union who is the agreed Barging Agent for its employees. The type of dictatorship management by the senior Management and CEO make employees scared to even think about put their money in such company!
    BEWU is not BEL SKATE-BOARD!!!!

  3. concerned says:

    Belizeans can you wake up???????????? The Government is taking you hard earn social security money to pay themselfs in the form of Debentures in december, since they are major shareholders. To make it simple, its just a deviation of funds they are making. Please man… wake up!!!!!!!

  4. Haad Times says:

    Concerned you are RIGHT ON…this is exactly what they have been doing for years. Anytime you hear that money is being used by SSB to ‘invest’ in something, it means that they are stealing OPENLY from the Belizean people and we will NEVER recover nor get ahead. Yet when the hard working poor man gets sick or retired, he gets a little bit of NOTHING. Soon you will hear SSB’s money is tied up in a series of NON-PERFORMING assets and that they are broke. All of this is happening while we sit by want watch. I guess they figure the Guats will run the show soon, so they might as well fill their pockets. We have been completely sold out…..Sad times for Belize.

  5. Bear says:

    Good point, Haad Times. I would like Channel 5 to investigate — has SSB EVER been repaid a single dollar it lent or invested in government entities???

    It usually, maybe ALWAYS, results in a one-way transfer of public money to private accounts, and then it’s gone forever. Way to go, SSB board! You’re doing a fine job protecting the people you work for.

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