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Senate considers bills from House, including controversial Labour Act amendment 

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Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2020. 11:02 am CST.

By Aaron Humes :The Upper House meets to consider multiple bills and motions, including extending the period of public emergency due to expire tomorrow, Thursday, for two more weeks up to the start of September. 

Also before the Senate are the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation 2020-2021 (Number 3) Bill, 2020; the Crime Control and Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Customs Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020; and the Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2020. 

The last of these bills has invited controversy. It proposes to help employers meet the burden of reducing wages and hours of work due to the current COVID-19 pandemic; and exempt workers, primarily stevedores, from following the prescribed nine-hour period of night rest to facilitate the faster unloading of cargo ships. 

But the major trade unions under the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) have rejected the amendments on the basis that they were not properly consulted. We expect to hear from Senator Elena Smith, trade union Senator, and Business Senator Mark Lizarraga concerning this matter. 

More from Belmopan as it happens. 

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