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Labour Act to meet concerns of stevedores and COVID-19 related issues

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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020. 3:20 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes:The Labour Act is amended to help employers meet the burden of reducing wages and hours of work due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

While many employers have made their own arrangements according to substantive Minister of Labour and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the law is loosened to allow such agreements where both the employer and employee agree.

Concerning the exemption from periods of night rest, it is to assist the stevedore trade following the historic recent agreement between the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) and Port of Belize Limited for collective bargaining.

The Labour Act before its amendment limited work in a 24-hour period to 15 hours, meaning stevedores who normally take much more time to unload cargo and other ships lost pay as a result. But by convention, the Prime Minister said, the gang that starts offloading the ship should be allowed to complete it, and collect the resulting pay and benefits. The stevedores have assured that they can work that time without any loss of acuity and manage rest breaks and so on. It also helps consumers who can get goods from the Port in a faster time than before.

 

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