About 50 individuals employed at the Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) will be sent home on Monday due to financial constraints of the company. The Belize City council currently owes the sanitation company 1.3 million dollars and according to Lawrence Ellis, owner of BML, that 3.1 million does not include the 2.8 million dollars won in a judgment in 2012. According to Mr Ellis, the non-payment on the part of the Belize City council has put the company on some serious financial constraints and they are left with no other option than to retrench several of their workers. He says he has attempted to meet with the Mayor, but to no avail.
“We’ve been trying to meet with the counsel and nobody wants to meet with us. We’ve actually been trying to meet with mayor for over a year now. We have had about six to seven appointments, and he hasn’t showed up for any of them. We even showed up at City Hall once and caught him there and he met with me to make an appointment, he then didn’t show up for the appointment. So we are feeling very disrespected. I mean we are one of the counsel largest in contractors. We have over 117 employees here, and for whatever reason the Mayor refuses to meet with us. So it was to my absolute surprise when the Mayor went on National Media and said that he wasn’t going to renew the contract, because there is a leach on the counsel and to make some very irresponsible comments like that.”
According to Lawrence Ellis, the Mayor of Belize City has made some very disrespectful comments to his company and employees.
“It was disrespectful, and to my mind slanderous, to go out and complain and making it seem like BML is the cause of the counsels financial problems. We’ve been there from 1994. It’s not BML. He has brought the counsel under some serious debts though, and now he has committed the monies to the debt. Now he wants to blame us to that debt. He even made a statement once that when they asked him once about the BML employees, he says that that’s not his problem, that’s my problem! Knowing fully well that the employees are here based on the contract. If I don’t have a contract, I don’t need employees. I don’t have no work for the employees ,and we have a lot of single mothers working here, who work hard every day and they are not happy. Their future, their knowing that their employment is going to end next year. They have no plans as to lay forward. They have a lot of commitments, and to make a statement like that also is very irresponsible.”