Friday, June 18, 2010



The Business Perspectives didn´t do much of anything this week in their program. I kept waiting for them to discuss the labor law amendments to do with :

The government and bank holidays which stay the same. Why should they? In the tourist business the biggest earner, the business is in catering to people on their holidays. That is when your tourist workers have to work. Like fishing, you fish when the fish are biting, not otherwise. If your tourist business is the Easter holidays, you hire people to work the Easter holidays and lay them off between the holidays. Or they take a holiday outside of local holidays.

In the financial business, you are trading with Singapore, London, New York, Chicago and Tokyo. Each place has their own government and bank holidays and they are not the same as in Belize. You work when the business is running and in financial trading, you work to other country holidays. When they close their markets, you don´t work in Belize either, even if Belize has no particular holiday on that same day. Yet people are supposed to get double time and a half in Belize for working a local holiday, because other country holidays have open financial centers, while in Belize the labor laws say everything is supposed to be closed.

The big impression I got from the Business Perspectives program was that the CEO guy, who is from Labor needs to be retired, or transferred to traffic department or something? The labor department need new blood, preferably an MBA with an open mind, under 30 years of age and no colonial labor law baggage. The telephone call from the Trade Unions and comments from the lady running the Chamber of Commerce TV show, high lighted this point. They were polite and respectful, but the guy has to go was their message and I agree. Amendments mean change. I found the labor CEO guy knowledgeable, but obsolete and archaic. It is like the old truism. You don´t fight this new war with the last war´s Generals. Both the Chamber and the Trade Unions said he, Labor Dept. CEO was useless and incompetent, as he has taken 2 years to write a few amendments, that shouldn´t take some new University graduate in Belize more than 2 weeks to do. The guy obsfucated with crap about CASE LAW. The labor laws should be written in detail enough to avoid law suits. That is what the current amendments and review is about.

He put forth some gobblygook about Independent Contractors and Dependent Contractors, a term he invented apparently? What nonsense! Day workers were not mentioned. Nor casuals!

The labor laws of Belize are colonial in nature and you need fresh minds at this amendment re-writing, using other foreign country examples to guide you in principle. Everything is on the internet these days, should be no problem for a bright fresh young thing. I liked the views of the lady Labor Commissioner. Put her in charge of everything.

I agree with the Trade Union and the Chamber TV lady chair person. The bureaucratic problem is the guy who is the LABOR CEO. His day is done! Time for new blood.

The existing labor laws in Belize were written, or adopted from colonial practices when only civil servants, stevedores, trade union people and shop keepers were involved. They do not address the complexities of modern society which is often 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, working in a vibrant commercial society, dealing with international customers from around the world of different time zones and different holiday patterns and seasons.

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