By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The General Assembly of the Belize sugarcane Farmers resolved on Saturday that they will take industrial action in five days counting from Monday if Central Government and the Sugar Industry Control Board do not intervene to end the ongoing impasse with the American Sugar Refineries owned Belize Sugar Industries.
Over 800 cañeros gathered at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in Corozal, expressing their solidarity with the BSCFA on the ongoing impasse with BSI.
Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega explained that the association is calling on central government to intervene and resolve the deadlock in negotiations in light of the fast approaching deadline to start the 2014-2015 sugarcane crop.
“The farmers are looking for a particular period for things to be resolved and that is Monday to Friday after that things will need to be moved,” Ortega said.
Ortega added that the farmers are only asking for a fair wage to be paid for bagasse, but that BSI has refused to compromise in the negotiations.
The cañeros passed two other resolutions at the meeting, one to establish a marketing, committee which will oversee how sugar is being marketed and sold in the European Union, and the other is to propose to Cabinet that the price of local sugar be increased.
The Sugar Industry Control Board is scheduling a meeting on Monday in an effort to bring all stakeholders to the table in an attempt to end the impasse and start the crop on time.