Business

BEWU denies demanding unfair salary increase

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

The Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) has denied reports that it staged a “sick-out” on Monday in protest of Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) refusal to grant workers a salary increase.

A BEWU release sent out on Wednesday, said that contrary to what was reported in certain sections of the media, the union hasn’t asked for a 12.5 percent salary increase.

It condemned such reports are misleading and defamatory. The BEWU called such a proposed increase “outrageous.”
The BEWU, however, rather than denying there was a “sick-out,” confirmed that about 80 employees called in sick on the same day Monday, May 18. The union said it had no prior knowledge of it.

The union said itwould be reasonable and would strike a balance between the major stakeholders of the company, namely: customers, investors and the employees. The BEWU went on to say that throughout its history, theBEWL has proven to be flexible during negotiations.

On Tuesday BEWU Vice President and designated BEWU spokesperson, Marvin Mora said he had no knowledge of any sickout since he was himself out sick on Monday. BEL management and the BEWU have remained tight-lipped about the incident, neither confirming or denying it happened. Both pointed to the onfidentiality agreement between the parties, preventing either from talking to the media.

BEL and the BEWU have been in negotiations since last year and seemed to be making progress when both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding after settling a number of issues that had been outstanding for some time.

There were a few remaining issues of concern for the BEWU however, including the redundancy dismissal of four plant-operators, but the parties have been making progress.

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