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Is cutting of grass by Ministry of Works personnel an essential service?

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Posted: Saturday, April 4, 2020. 1:22 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: BBN has received reports from concerned public service workers who claim they are being unduly forced to work due to their essential status designation despite increasingly difficult and worrying conditions as Belize progresses further into its state of national shut-down.

According to the workers, whose jobs are to cut and maintain grass on streets and roadsides, due to their designation the Ministry of Works is demanding that they report for daily duty, however, they are skeptical of how essential that service is now considering present circumstances and widespread fear of contracting COVID-19.

To complicate matters, many of the workers say they are only able to commute to work by public transportation, and with today’s announcement of bus runs being shutdown until further notice, they are worried their situations may get even worse. The workers are pleading with authorities to take their plight and the clear and present risk to their families into consideration.

BBN has reached out to Ministry of Works CEO, Errol Gentle, as well as Minister Rene Montero, however we have been unable to get any response as yet. We spoke with CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister, Audrey Wallace who indicated she would be following up with the matter.

 

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