And later on we'll tell you about another murder - this one of an 18 year old male in Orange Walk, but first to the story of the day: BML workers throwing bags of garbage on the street in front of City Hall.

First, the background: last week we told you about the evolving crisis the Belize City Council has been facing with Belize Maintenance Limited. We say crisis because the city owes BML the equivalent of 19 weeks of arrears. The city says it will not renew the contract when it expires in January 2015. That's the future, but in the here and now, BML's workers say that the city's "haad pay" tactics are causing them to lose their jobs. This morning that led to some dramatic scenery on the city streets. 7 news was there.

Robin Schaffer reporting
This was the scene this morning in front of City hall as around 50 angry BML workers dumped bags of garbage in front of the building.

They left filth strewn across North Front Street as their show of protest forcing the closure of this major thoroughfare, and forcing the diversion of during the regular morning rush.

That dramatic and defiant demonstration was the culmination of a street side press conference which started in front of BML's office on Baymen Avenue at about 9 this morning.

That is where the workers vented on Mayor Darrel Bradley. They said they are losing their jobs because he hasn't paid their employer in 19 weeks.

Delroy Herrera- organizer
"This is what the workers from BML gave me. They say this is their breakfast in the morning because the money that they have they had to leave it at home for children because they come out at 6 in the morning - it's a shame."

Sanitation Worker, BML
"We can't go home and tell our children that we don't have anything to give them to eat. every day we wake up we have to wonder what we will give our children to eat. When we don't have it they cry. What the mayor wants us to do, go thief, go rob people, go burn down some house- what does he wants us to do? Come on, we are taking lick out here. Watch what I am eating; biscuit and sausage. I can't even get water to wash down the biscuit. The biscuit is choking me."

After half hour, they loaded up into waiting buses for a ride to City Hall where they planned to take direct action.

Sanitation Worker, BML
"Majority of us are single parent. Without this job what will become of us? We will have to end off stealing, we have to end off robbing and kill which is not fair."

Delroy Herrera- organizer
"Why should we happy? Let me tell you something that needs to happen; the mayor needs to come to the table and negotiate with these people. You can't say you owe me and don't tell me when you will pay me and why you cannot pay me. Come to the people here - tell me Mr. Mayor because I know you know."

Sanitation worker, BML
"We know our jobs are in jeopardy, but we need to eat and we need to work. The mayor is just a greedy dog."

Sanitation worker, BML
"We are tired of eating chicken ramen and chicken parts. We are tired of eating everything. We want back our job."

One vocal sympathizer is Ras Pitter, a stevedore who finds common cause with these workers.

Ras Pitter
"I am in full support of BML workers. These people are foundation. These are people before this mayor and before a lot of mayors. They are from original City Council days and through the privatization they remain, so I am full support. The mayor is human being just like all these people out here. Have a little conscience rasta, have some conscience towards these people here and sit down with these people and reason out. Have that and don't act arrogant my brother. All of us in the same age range. Let us deal with one another like a man mayor. I am in full support for you to pay attention to these people here."

But while Pitter supported them; the police did not. The protest had no permit, and the police seemed to have no advance intelligence of the protest, so they appeared to have been caught unprepared and stood by as the street cleaners made a mess on the street. Eventually, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster took charge.

Edward Broaster - Senior Superintendent
"What you all are doing here is an illegal gathering here and you all are littering the street. Just because you all are fighting for your rights means that you will break the law doing so."

Crowd
"We are not breaking the law."

Edward Broaster - Senior Superintendent
"You all are breaking the law. You all are doing an illegal gathering and littering the street, so I am asking you all to pick up this garbage and disperse."

When the batons were brought out, the street cleaners left, leaving the garbage behind.

But the police, anticipating this, set up their own dramatic road block on Queen Street, intercepting the vehicles and arresting 45 protesters.

Delroy Herrera- organizer
"I've explain to the workers that we do not want them to get hurt so we will disperse, but we are leaving the garbage. We will disperse and we will come back tomorrow with the proper permit."

Mitchell Danderson - Operations Manager
"I'll be very honest with you. We are not law breakers, if it takes us to go get a permit every single day that is what we are going to do. That is what we are prepared to do because we don't want what happen here today happens again."

Reporter
"But why didn't you do that for today?"

Mitchell Danderson- Operations Manager
"It was a spur moment thing, you understand. The people are fighting for their money, they are frustrated."

Channel 7


Donít worry BML, Mayor will pay (eventually)Ö

But the frustrations do not stop there as both the City Council and BML seem to have two very different takes on the current impasse. According to BML'S Operations Manager, Mitchell Danderson, it has been almost a year since mayor Bradley has spoken to BML.

Mitchell Danderson- Operations Manager
"As far as we are concern he didn't make any contact with Mr. Ellis, the manager of the company. He hasn't been in communication with the management any at all. We hope that the mayor will show some respect, some dignity and come and say Mr. Ellis, Mr. BML let us sit and talk but that hasn't happen over a year. Mr. Ellis has made different requests to meet with him and that has never happen."

Reporter
"What's the next step for the company if this doesn't work out?"

Mitchell Danderson- Operations Manager
"If this doesn't work out - the last thing I said is to send people home if the company cannot bear it anymore that is what we will have to do until the mayor sit and have a conversation with Mr. Ellis."

But when the mayor briefed the media at an impromptu press conference after this morning's demonstration, he said that he always communicates with BML, a company which he described as "bleeding the council dry":

And so - over the course of a 45 minute press conference - he said that the city council will pay when it can:

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I am telling you that in much of the dispute and I will concede and accept this that the city council is at fault, we are at fault and I am the head of the city and I accept responsibility for the fact that BML has not been paid for a substantial period of time."

Reporter
"Which makes you "malpago.""

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I am accepting that because as a leader that's what you do. It doesn't makes me feel good to tell anybody in the public that we have outstanding arrears for so long that's why I am working every single day to pay these people off - to find ways that we are going to pay these people off. Why must I pay $78,000 per week to chop in front of your yard? That is not public. What you can do and what you said and I appreciate your question, but we are doing a lot of analysis in terms of justifying and reprioritizing what do at city council to ensure that when we spend public funds we can say that we are spending public funds on what is considered public."

"One of the things that I want you to appreciate is when we look at the management of the city, there are different priorities, we are placing a significant amount of priorities streets, infrastructures, in upgrades to parks in other areas. A significant part of the attention, notwithstanding that we place a lot of priorities in those areas have been these sanitation contracts. The reality of that is just because these things are so significant in cost. It takes a lot out of us to pay a $78,000 bill per week together with a $51,000 bill per week together with salary payments of $189,000 every two weeks. That right there, those 3 things takes up about 80% of what the city council takes in. It's just too much."

"When you are dealing with things like sanitation, I have maintained that we could provide the city that service far cheaper. I do not believe that BML has 100 persons on the ground. I am not talking about supervisors, I am not talking about management, I am not talking about the owner; I am talking about the people who go on the ground picking up the garbage, cutting the grass."

Geovannie Brackett
"They say they have 170 workers."

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"They don't have a hundred people doing that on the ground. They don't have those people and they are not paying those people $200 a week. They don't make $200 a week. You need to take care of your own business just as how the mayor needs to take care of the city's business and analyze then from August now to January, what am I going to do knowing that this contract - I don't even know if BML has other, maybe they can stay - I don't know. That's their business, that's not my business. I have to worry about paying them. I have to worry about paying our staff. I have to worry about paying our streets. They have to then deal with their own employees - like that's their company."

Geovannie Brackett
"How can they pay their employees when you are not paying them?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"We are paying them and we are going to pay them."

Geovannie Brackett
"Do you have any intentions to speak with Mr. Ellis or management of BML?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I've always spoken to them."

Geovannie Brackett
"He have said that its been months that you have spoken to him."

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I've always spoken to them."

Geovannie Brackett
"When was the last time you've spoken to them?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I can't remember."

Reporter
"Sir, can you say when it is that the council will be making another payment?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I cannot say exactly. Those people, while I am sympathetic to them are not city council employees. You work for a company that has a contract with the Belize City Council. It's a tenure contract, that contract is coming to an end."

Geovannie Brackett
"There are littering penalties right now. I can't recall if one person has been arrested."

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"We've persecuted a lot of people on that. That's part of our strategy."

Geovannie Brackett
"If you can't currently enforce that legislation, how will you....?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"We are enforcing that legislation."

Geovannie Brackett
"Obviously I dint see it because when you go around...."

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"You don't go to court Geovannie."

Geovannie Brackett
"How many people? Give us a statistic?"

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I am not the sanitation person, but every month I think that we persecute more than 30 people for that. I can't tell you if those persecutions are successful because that is handle by a certain department of this operation and I know that people write in. The fines for business is $2,000, for an individual its $500. Those are serious fines and we've persecuted offenses under that."

"All I am saying is that coming closer to the January 2015 deadline, I expect that there will be increase contentions and frustrations because you are going from ne system where you are paying and exorbitant amount of money to one supplier to a system where you don't have to do that, so I understand that the employees are concern. I would be concern likewise. I understand that the company is concern because they have been in a sense bleeding us for 10 years and now that that is coming to an end - that gravy train is coming to an end they are holding up their hands and saying what."

And while there are aspersions to the contrary, the mayor today publicly restated that when the contract lapses, the job of cleaning the city streets will revert to the city council.

Channel 7