By BBN Staff: The Christian Workers Union (CWU) announced today that it has rejected the austerity measures by the Port of Belize Limited to reduce the wages of its members employed at the port by 10 percent until there is a proper review of the Port’s financial records.
The CWU said that it held a meeting and asked its members to vote via secret ballot, on whether or not they should accept the Port’s proposal at face value. When the votes had been tallied, some 64 of the total 85 votes cast said that the proposal should be rejected until a financial expert designated by CWU reviews PBL’s accounts to be able to offer guidance on whether the option is fair, and necessary.
“While CWU appreciates that there is an ongoing crisis which requires shared sacrifice, the Union is duty-bound to do its due diligence on Members’ behalf before providing guidance based independent expert advice. CWU has informed PBL Management and the Government of Belize through the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Labour of today’s Members’ decision,” the CWU said.
The union said that it expects the Port to put the decision to reduce salaries on hold until it has given full disclosure and justification.
Last week the Port announced its decision to reduce salaries at all levels, as a means of coping with the economic pressure, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The port announced at that time that the salary reductions range from 20 percent for executives and senior managers to 15 percent for middle management. The Port noted at that time that Stevedores would not be affected by those measures because they had already experienced downturns in salary due to decreased vessel activity.