The last time the minimum wage was changed was in 2012 from $3.10 to $3.30 an hour. That works out to about $132.00 a week if the person is working full time. With the cost of living rising, this places many families in a position of poverty. Belize Leaders for Social Justice has taken on the fight for an increase in minimum wage. Moses Sulph, the Co-Chair of Belize Leaders for Social Justice, told us about a rally they will be having tomorrow, Saturday June 17, to bring awareness to the problem and pressure the government to bring about change.
Moses Sulph, Co-Chair, Belize Leaders for Social Justice: We’ll be having a rally demonstration on the 17th of June in Belize. We start at 9:30am at the Constitution Park whereby we make our way to the Battlefield Park on Albert Street. This rally demonstration is to highlight a call for attention towards minimum wage increasing minimum wage. We’re asking the Belizean public to come out and support this initiative, we’ve been doing so for a while now and we are the only organizers, so it’s going to take you the person, every person in this country. If you have an issue which is a social issue you can also bring you placard. We’re united on all the social issues and we believe that also corruption is also one of the root cause of why we have so much poverty in this country and why we have so much suffering and why we have so much mothers and fathers who are facing recession and depression in their life because they’re unable to provide the basic standard of living for themselves and their kids.
Moses Sulph, Co-Chair, Belize Leaders for Social Justice: We cannot change policies but we can demand policy change, we can unite together in an effort to affect policy change and if we’re united as a people in numbers then it can definitely direct any policy change we want and those issues that we’re calling for. So it’s not going to take me alone to do it, it’s not going to take my other members alone to do it. It’s going to take those who are affected directly and those who understand that the country is in a place that it shouldn’t be and we need to call for these things to be done.
The rally will not only be about minimum wages, Sulph said, but also a rally fortg55 the gas prices to go down. Regular gas is presently at $9.83, which is the highest in the region. Examples of gas prices in the other Central American countries are Costa Rica at $4.05, Honduras at $3.69, Nicaragua at $3.58, Guatemala and El Salvador is at $3.06 and Panama is at $2.81 per gallon.