By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) is expecting a five-week-payment from the Belize City Council on Friday, according to BML owner Lawrence Ellis.
Ellis indicated that CitCo has promised to make a payment of approximately $390,000 on Friday. He added that if CitCo didn’t pay on Friday BML would be forced to consider legal action against the Council.
Ellis explained that for the past three weeks Central Government has made consecutive payments to cover the cost of the employees’ salaries but pointed out that this money doesn’t cover Social Security, over-time and other employee related expenses.
Ellis said it was critical for the sanitation company to receive the payment on Friday in order to keep its business in order.
Ellis indicated that CitCo was now 20 weeks in arrears to the sanitation company.
He noted that he has made financial arrangements to cover his company’s costs while payments from CitCo remain outstanding, but said there may soon come a point when he can no longer shoulder the burden.
Three weeks ago Prime Minister Dean Barrow pledged to cover the cost of BML employee salaries until the expiration of the company’s contract with CitCo in January 2015.
Barrow also arranged for all BML workers to transition into employment with CitCo when the contract expires.
The intervention came as a result of growing frustration of BML workers who were under threat of losing their jobs.
The unrest led to a protest in front of City Hall on Monday, which saw a bus load of BML workers arrested and charged for littering and participating in an unlawful public gathering.
The intervention of the Prime Minister led to all charges being dropped and Mayor Darrell Bradley instructed that the littering tickets be dismissed as well.