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Aug 4, 2006

Cash strapped CitCo can?t pay clean-up crews

Story PictureThe Belize City Council is taking heat again tonight after failing to make payments to its contracted clean up crews. According to the management of Sanitation Enterprises Limited, S.E.L. the future of the company is uncertain tonight because it has been unable to pay more than two hundred and forty employees their salaries. And they are putting all the blame on the Belize City Council.

In an off camera interview this afternoon, S.E.L.’s Rupert Marin told News Five that since March First they have received only four payments of the agreed weekly amount of seventy two thousand dollars. Marin says if they are forced to continue to operate under such financial constraints they will have no choice but to further reduce their staff by as much as fifty percent. That announcement brought no consolation to the sanitation workers like Denfield Carr.

Denfield Carr, S.E.L. Employee
?Well I work very hard for my money, and when I work hard for my money I want to collect my money. I have to work from seven o?clock the morning to go to work and go do my work, so when I done do my work I want to collect my money. This is the money they gave me for my pay. This is not enough for my family. I have light bill, water bill plus I have to eat, so it is not enough for my family. I came on the air to let them know I want the rest of m money.?

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
?How long now have you employees been not receiving your full salaries??

Denfield Carr
?I don?t know about them, but I will tell you about me. This is the first week that they short me and I can?t afford to have anybody short me, because I already worked hard and I have bills to pay. They short me now so I am putting them on tv to let them know.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?What is management telling the employees??

Denfield Carr
?Looks like City Council ain?t paying them so they can?t pay we. But that?s there problem, I want my money that?s why I am working hard. That is why I come work hard to pay my bills and so, you understand.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?You get one seventy-nine a week??

Denfield Carr
?Yes. I suppose to get one seventy-nine, but all I get now is a hundred dollars. What can that do for me? I got water bill, light bill plus I have to eat. Well I no know what they think to do, but I am thinking about stop working, because I can?t work and people are shorting me. That is no kind of improvement for me, to have people shorting my money that I am working hard for.?

This evening we caught up with Deputy Mayor Wayne Usher who also declined an on camera interview. Usher maintains the City Council regrets the situation but he says it’s because property owners have not been paying their property taxes and as a result, the city is strapped for cash. Usher says there will be a meeting with S.E.L., Belize Maintenance Limited and Belize Waste Control next week to see what can be done to help workers keep their jobs.

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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