In March of this year, we told you about a new player in the Sugar Industry called the Santander Group who invited the media over for a tour of their facilities. At the time, the company boasted that it had already pumped in approximately ninety million U.S. dollars into the project, as well as employed roughly eight hundred men and women, a majority of whom are Belizeans. Well tonight, things are a bit sour in that Company since the employees staged a protest in front of Green Tropics in the Cayo District and the police were called in to maintain order. We have been informed that the workers feel they are being treated unfairly and their working conditions are not up to par. Arsenio Estrada, one of the workers who spoke to our colleagues at Plus Television, says they were “Sold lies” to gain employment.
ARSENIO ESTRADA – Worker, Santander
“Actually I was told a lie; I was told that I was going to making so much amount of money so I came. I am actually a scale welder, I help build the US Embassy and I worked several places before and actually I was the pride of my welding skills right here, they didn’t give me a welding test, they only told me take $40 and if you don’t want it just go home and I noticed all the other guys coming after me were taking it and they all took a test and that determined their raise and up to now a whole year and I haven’t receive a raise, me and several other guys here.”
It is of note that the Santander Group has been operating in Belize since 2008.
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