By Aaron Humes: Despite the Government’s best efforts, according to National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) president Luis “Luke” Martinez, workers have taken a battering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet got off their backs and contributed to the national recovery.
Martinez, delivering the annual Labour Day address on behalf of the Congress, credited the Government for the restoration of lost wages and increments; increasing the minimum wage, planning labour law reforms and prioritizing anti-child labour policies and a social protection floor.
Still, he noted, “Since COVID-19, workers have faced turmoil: workers lost their jobs, their homes; workers lost income, dignity, and yes, workers lost their lives. With all the odds against workers, the Government of Belize and the private sector was able to rebound because of the hard work, skills and dedication of workers.”
And until the Government properly recognizes the right to associate and that “there is absolutely no capital without labour,” industrial relations still have some way to go, he added. Where possible, workers should join or form an appropriate trade union to fight for their right to decent work.
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