Yesterday we told you about the fiery press release which promoted a movement to boycott the purchasing of Bowen and Bowen products this coming Friday. The release was sent out by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Workers Union in Orange Walk Town.
And as we predicted, the news did not sit too well with the Management at Bowen, but it’s not as if they are pulling their hair out. Today when we spoke to Public Relations Officer and in-house Counsel for the Bowen and Bowen Group of Companies, Christelle Wilson, she told us that despite the apparent ‘threat’, business will continue as per normal as their customer demands would have to be met.
CHRISTELLE WILSON – Public Relations Officer, Bowen & Bowen Ltd
“We have several of our customer, thousands of shop owners, merchants, restaurants, bars, small vendors and their employees in these businesses that they maintain their livelihood and support their families through the sale of our products and so we are continuing to sale, deliver, make sure that all of our customer needs are met. We are looking at the boycott from the aspect of our employees right, you know that Bowen and Bowen is one of the largest single employers here in Belize and we have been committed to go beyond and above the law to provide benefits and job security for our employees, I don’t know if you are aware of some of the benefits that we offer but that is like the commission inclusive vacation pay, paid time, paternity leave, interest free loans, donations so our business success if kind of shared with a lot of people and we cannot stop business because there is a proposed boycott we have to continue just as the notice was not a treat to us from Friday. The termination of the thirteen former employees is final and Bowen and Bowen will not be taking them back and let me just expand on that, we are talking about a company that has a lot of customers that its sales is led by our reputation and our involvement in the community and we had a set of employees that really defamed and brought down the reputation of the company, they have affected sales by not showing up to work and there is a number of things that the list could go on and we have made a decision to not rehire these thirteen people back into our company we want to continue promote positive working environment, they have had a great effect on their former co-workers, they put them at risk when they tarnish the company reputation and that directly affected sales which directly affected their commission, warehouse operation, distribution, production so no one will foster that type of environment.”
The unions sent out the release yesterday in support of the 13 employees who were fired two weeks ago by the company. In the release both the NTUCB and the BNTU call for reinstatement of the former employees by stating and we quote “The circumstances around which these employees were driven to take action (employment status alteration), feeling compelled to come out publicly with their plight, is indeed a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations." End quote.
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