By Alexis R. Milan
Thirty employees laid off by Accutel BPO, a redi-call company doing business on Calle al Mar in Belize City, have made claims against owner, Emroy Castillo that they have not been paid for several weeks and that no Social Security payments have been made on their behalf.
According to the employees, who desire to remain anonymous for fear that they may not be given recommendation letters, they have been laid off but have been given formal letters of dismissal.
The employees also allege that Castillo, a manager at the Belmopan branch of the Social Security Board, has been taking Social Security contributions from their bi-weekly pay. A check with Social Security indicates that no payments have been made on their behalf.
The employees claim that on October 27th Castillo verbally told them that they were not to come back to work and that they were on stand-by. But two weeks have gone by and they haven’t been contacted.
The workers were to be paid on October 31, but when they spoke with him, Castillo said he didn’t have the money to pay them.
The employees presented a recording of the meeting they had with Castillo on November 4th and Castillo is heard telling them that to pay them he would have to put up his house as collateral. He promised to pay them by Friday November 7th.
The employees acknowledged that they received two-weeks’ pay but claim they are still owed for several weeks more.
The workers say they contacted the Labor Department last week and were told that the matter would be investigated. But since then they have heard nothing from the Labor Department.
The workers also say that when they checked with the Registry of Companies in Belmopan on Thursday morning they were told that there is no record of a company called Accutel BPO.
Todd Ingram of Zeus International Business Center and Accutel landlord, said that Accutel had not made a rent payment since July. Ingram said that Accutel has been located at the Zeus Business Center since May.
The Reporter has tried to contact Castillo at the Social Security Belmopan branch but was told that he was not in office and they did not know when he would be in.
In March Castillo submitted his name as a candidate for the United Democratic Party in the Belize Rural Central Division but lost that convention to Beverly Castillo.