By Benjamin Flowers Staff Reporter
Several trade unions have called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products this weekend.
The move, the unions explained via separate, a but almost identical press statements, is to show support for the Bowen & Bowen workers who were recently terminated from the company.
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize,the Christian Workers’ Union, the Belize Energy Workers Union, and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers all issued similar releases calling on their memberships to not buy any of the company’s products on Friday, March 21.
The unions emphatically call for the reinstatement of the terminated workers “in order to restore public confidence in the working environment and culture cultivated by the company as it relates to…security of tenure for its employees.”
The unions also agree that the workers’ decision to go public with the situation arose from a total breakdown of industrial relations.
Christelle Wilson, the company’s public relations officer, responded via press release this week saying that the company would continue business as usual, and will meet the need of its customers.
The release also stated that if the former employees had “utilized any of the avenues for discussion instead of not coming to work on March 1, 2014; defaming the company; and trying to tarnish the good name of the company, they would still have their jobs.”
The release added that it is “regrettable” that a small group of former employees are behaving in a way that could affect warehouse operations, distribution and production, which would adversely impact the livelihoods of over 900 B&B employees.
On March 1, B&B instituted a new system for sales, distribution and payment of workers.
Many of the workers who disliked the system staged a sick-out on March 4 and 5.
The company decided to terminate the workers, who according to Wilson, did not register their discontent prior to taking industrial action.
The initial 13 workers reported the terminations to the media, saying that the terminations were unjust, as were the new salary schemes, which would raise base salaries but reduce commission on sales.