By Alexis R. Milan
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) made a revised proposal to the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) on Thursday via Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse, who has been brought in to mediate the situation.But the parties involved remain tight-lipped on the details surrounding the proposal.
Following the meeting with the BEWU on Thursday evening, Hulse told The Reporter that any comment on the matter would be premature and said he was a bit surprised that BEL had sent out a press release on the matter.
Hulse would not go into any specifics when asked if he thought the BEWU was close to accepting the proposal, but said in vague terms that the negotiations come closer to an end after every discussion. If not there wouldn’t be any need to negotiate.
Hulse said both parties are still at the table and negotiations are meant to happen behind closed doors, rather than in the public domain.
BEWU Vice President Marvin Mora was also very cautious with his words, only saying that the union had just finished meeting with Hulse and that the BEWU now needs to review the revised proposal presented to them, make its changes, submit them to its membership and then make a decision on the proposal. He added that he had no comment on the BEL release.
That release from BEL said that the company has decided to compromise on the total increase in salaries and benefits, the vesting period for employee pension and an adjustment to the annual Performance Increase Matrix to a guaranteed salary increase for all employees, except those with low performance ratings or those who have reached the maximum of their salary scales.
The company added that it is hopeful that the mediation process can be concluded soon so that the company can move forward under the revised Partnership Collective Agreement (PCA).