The recent move by BSI/ASR to sign a seven year contract with individual cane famers or reaping groups has been attracting quite an amount of negative criticism especially from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association who says the contract is the worst they have ever seen in the history of the sugar industry. And there are those who describe BSI/ASR’s move as a form of dictatorship as the contract clearly states that company is only willing to pay cane farmers 51 cents per ton of bagasse and that they must be named the owners of the cane.
One organization that has been keeping a close eye at the current impasse between both stakeholders is the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Yesterday, via a press release the organization stated that they “unequivocally denounce the current stand, being taken by American Sugar Refinery (ASR), to seek out individual cane farmers to negotiate with; for purchase of sugar cane.”
NTUCB, views the move as quote “downright undermining of the bedrock of collective representation/bargaining that the foundation of labour and labourers’ rights is built on.” end of quote.
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