Headline — 30 March 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Belize Aquaculture Limited lays off 100 employees,   citing disease and high      cost of operating

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Mar. 27, 2018– Belize Aquaculture Limited (BAL) which has its operations at Mile 4 on the Placencia Road, in the Stann Creek District, was forced to make redundant 100 employees. The company cited the high cost of operations and the onset of disease at its shrimp farm.

The company made the announcement via a Ministry of Labor press release last Friday, March 23. Although the company promised to rehire the affected workers at a later date, it remains to be seen if this will happen.

The Ministry of Labor press release said: “The Belize Aquaculture Limited (BAL) has informed the Ministry of Labour of its intention to make redundant approximately one hundred (100) employees at the company’s operation at Mile 4, Placencia Road, Stann Creek District.”

The company states that the reason for downsizing is the significant costs the company has incurred in the fight against a disease outbreak that is affecting the entire shrimp industry. “Substantial efforts are underway to rebuild and make its operations profitable in Belize, with a view to re-employ affected employees at a later date.” the release said.

The release added, “The Company intends to effect the lay-off proceeding today, March 23. The Ministry of Labour is currently working closely with the management of the company and the affected employees, to ensure that the legal requirements under the Redundancy Provisions of the Labour Act, Chapter 297 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, are complied with, and most importantly that the wages and the termination benefits due to all employees are paid.”

The government release ends by encouraging all affected employees to visit the nearest Labour office to verify their payments.

The Belize Shrimp Growers Association reported that all the farms in the country are now employing technologies to eliminate disease.

Shrimp is one of Belize’s major marine exports.

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