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02/23/11 09:25 AM
02/23/11 09:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,354
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Paul Perriott, a longstanding employee at Belize Telemedia Limited has handed in his resignation, but he is saying that he was forced into it. Perriott who has served as President of the Belize Communications Workers Union has been actively involved in the negotiations of BTL shares to the company’s employees. The fight has been one that dates back to the tenure of the last administration. In mid 2010, the issue of the BTL shares resurfaced and again Perriott was at the forefront. According to Perriott however, the Board of directors accused him of “changing sides”. This is when he says his problems began. A new position in Dangriga was opened for which he was selected to fill. Perriott says he was not given a choice and was transferred. Upon the advice of his lawyer, he took the job, but things were not the way he expected them to be.

Paul Perriott – Former BTL employee

“When I got to Dangriga all of that was changed. I wasn’t in charge of anybody. As opposed to that I was being told that I had to go back out in the field to do installations and maintenance that I haven’t done for the past six years. This new position was as a senior technician. That was the direction it was going in. the department I was working for was shut down early this year so, kind of like to tell me there is no place for me to go back here in Belize. I was opposing to doing the field installations because that was not what was told to me when I sat in the interview and if they wanted to change those conditions then I needed to go sit back with the human resources department. That was never done and with the shutting down of this department my department got incorporated with another section of the company. My dignity would not allow me to allow them to continue to abuse me as a worker, as a trade unionist. Definitely I believe that the actions that they took were done to frustrate my employment, and therein have me resign or not fulfill some sort of probationary period because I did have a probationary period of three months and if I did not comply with their demands then they could have said ‘you are not performing, you go home’. So, it was either that or resigning.

Perriott says he firmly believes the company forced him out to keep him quiet. P

aul Perriott – Former BTL employee

“As you know we had an election last year in September where I was again elected by the members to be the president of the Union. BTL’s management has continued to refuse that election so they don’t respect the executives that were elected in September. They continue to respect the past executives and they knew that if I stayed in the City where we have the bigger number of employees that I would continue to push my actions and then again weaken the position that they had taken.”

Perriott says however that even now that he is out of the company; he will continue in office in the Union. In addition, he plans to take the matter to court.

Paul Perriott – Former BTL employee

“I am still a member of the Belize Communications Workers Union, as long as I continue paying dues I could still be in office of the union and I am looking legally at my options where I take this, if I will challenge it in the courts. I believe that he case is clear and it can be proven in the courts that what was done to me amounted to dismissal. In the real sense of how things happen and especially in how the courts are set up it may be something difficult but I will take the chance. I think that people have to start deciding that they will stand up for something and not allow people to just push you around and allow it to continue. I have decided to take that stand and we will see how the court rules. I believe it is going to be in my favor.”

Belize Telemedia in a circular to staff explaining Perriott’s departure explained that Perriott’s sudden departure was mutually agreed and that benefits due to him was being paid.


02/23/11 09:26 AM
02/23/11 09:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,354
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Fellow Unionists, Newscasters and Belizeans, attached is a statement by myself on the situation surrounding my forced resignation from btl. There will be a lot of misinformation sent out by btl and i hope this gives you all more information coming from "who feels it". I can be reached either on this email of on my cell phone, [email protected] and 610-2115..

PS. Also attaching managements notice to staff, note that they have managers going around threatening staff that if they support any action by the Union there will be serious repercussions from the upper management...

Paul Perriott

Senator Paul's Perriot-Statement


In 2000 I joined what was then Belize Telecommunications Ltd. and over the past 11 years including its transformation to Belize Telemedia Limited, I have had an unblemished successful career. My record will attest to that and my evaluations always met and exceed the company’s expectation as was evident by my promotions over the years. Every Belizean can remember that I was actively involved in the BTL fiasco under the previous administration in which not only BTL workers, but the country collectively stood up for the rights of the workers of this nation. During that time the current administration was in opposition and the movement got its overwhelming support. After the nationalization of BTL by this current administration, workers quickly realized that the same situations regarding workers rights were not being addressed and regardless of the fact that government was now at the helm of the company, the same problems remain.

Last year when the issue of BTL employees Trust/Shares was raised, as any other worker of BTL, naturally I was very vocal in support of the workers being able to sometime in the future own a stake in BTL. Since a trust had been set up under the past government, myself like many other workers believed that the present government was in the best position after the takeover of BTL to undertake the process to allow workers to truly take over the trust and as the deserving beneficiaries reap the benefits of the payment of shares. The government supported management however took the opposite stand. Shortly after a meeting was held by the previous owners of BTL, which within my workers rights as an employee of BTL and also a union representative, I attended to more or less get a clear understanding of what was the status of both the trust and the shares. We also wanted as workers to state our clear position to the previous owners our intensions as it related to the trust and our ultimate objective was nothing less than total workers control over the trust without external influences. The previous owners naturally declined.

BTL management however with direct influence from a board of directors appointed by government took this harmless meeting as a betrayal not of the company, but rather to them and accused me of “changed sides” by the mere fact that I attended the meeting. The board’s sentiments, through the mouth of the Company’s Chairman, was conveyed to me through close friends within and outside the company. I must clearly reiterate that my side has always been on the side of the workers of Belize, be it BTL workers or otherwise. While the board stubbornly confused a fight for workers rights or citizens in general as political, my record over the year can demonstrate that my motives have always been pure and genuine.

Shortly after that meeting, I was abruptly transferred to Dangriga, with absolutely no clear goal for the new position. Clearly from my arrival in Dangriga there has been no set objective such that not even a work place was assigned for me to sit. A desk belonging to a coworker had to hurriedly be cleared for me upon my arrival there. BTL has always taken into consideration its workers overall situation prior to any transfer, this includes; family situation, financial capability etc. The transfer to Dangriga was under the pretext of a promotion but with three months probation and under the pretense that my expertise was greatly needed. This proved to be far from the truth and quite to the contrary since all passwords for the systems access was removed from me as soon as the transfer letter was given. Now am being told that I am to do works far below the standard of a Senior Technician which is my current position. My treatment was cold, calculating, with no dialogue or mutual agreement…it was a case of GO NOW OR GET FIRED! Since the transfer in September of 2011, the Company has systematically dismantled the Department I worked at and had its functions absorbed by the Service Delivery and Access Planning Section, without consolation or dialogue and due process according to our MOU and Collective Agreement with the union and workers. This is nothing short of deliberate in order to thwart any efforts and repel any persistence by me to be re-transferred to Belize City and my department. All the other workers in the dismantled department have also been placed elsewhere and also without due process.

BTL’s action is a clear case of obvious UNION BUSTING. These tactics are used worldwide, to get rid of union leaders. It was done to my wife Christine Perriott by the past owners of BTL. Note that then she was supported by the present administration and the present Chairman of BTL in particular. During that time it was convenient and politically expedient to speak against the unjust treatment just to realize that now they would do the same. Whenever workers champion the rights of the downtrodden you are labeled as “upstart” and a trouble maker. I will boldly say that the current management of BTL is worse than the previous Management. I have spent countless years of my life like many other good BTL workers devoted to building a successful company and fought with many others for it to remain Belizean for the benefit of Belizeans. The skills I earned in training were never utilized with my transfer hence, what was the purpose? I see only one, to frustrate my contract of employment and be terminated. In 2005 we fought for a change from the way the country was being run, we are now at a worst place as it relates to the rights of a people and the nation in general.

Recall the situation of Dylan Reneau, who was sent to Punta Gorda under the past administration, remember who defended him? Our current Prime Minister…DEAN O. BARROW. Imagine now, in my case the same situation is reverse but under his administration. Naturally his defenders will say that the Board is independent of the Government but any rational Belizean will understand that Government appoints the entire Board and they are all political appointees who carry out the mandate and too often the wishes of the government. The situation with this present BTL board and management has degraded dramatically; workers fear of losing their jobs is at an all time high as new politically appointed persons are brought in weekly. The Labour department has blatantly refused to take action in response to the grievance I have filed against the Company in respect to my transfer. Then again there is so much to be desired from that department. Workers and the general public have for too long been disrespected and punished for speaking out and being vocal on issues affecting them. In the words of FECTAB President, Mr. Tom Greenwood “I'd like this to be told to the people of Belize: in this country when a native Belizean fights for his rights - he is a trouble maker”. HOW TRUE!!!

When we look at the situation with the labour amendments being proposed, again the government is systematically dismissing the entire spirit of ILO Convention 158, which was to provide a level of protection for years of service for workers. This was to afford continuity of service for workers who are not guilty of any misconduct or inadequate performance at their place of employment. The Prime Minister is now saying that “he believes employers should have every right to fire any worker for no reason”. He does not believe that as per ILO Convention 158, workers should have the right to work and that valid reason should be given for a termination to occur. With all his legal knowledge and as the leader of this nation, he has betrayed the workers and people of Belize. His comment is a draconian drawback to the times of slavery and years gone when a worker could be fired for speaking out or because the employer is doing something illegally. As a Trade Unionist and Senator representing Workers rights I must and will stand against this injustice being brought against workers, the reach of government has no bound and it’s quite simple; you speak out and you are punished and ostracized. The Management of BTL is a vein of the government, if at that level they are disrespecting the Union and more so “UNION BUSTING” then what more can we expect to happen to Unions in general. Our rights to protest are being taken away from us as we speak in the Labour amendments and in proposed changes to the Essential Services Act. Where will they stop??? Is this actually the same government that when it was in opposition pledged to support and work with the Unions against the past administration?

When we look at the present situation of the workers at SSB, the utter disrespect to not sit and dialogue with the Workers representatives speaks for itself. The PSU and BNTU have been trying to negotiate a new Bargaining Agreement with the government also and have been unable to reach any reasonable agreement. We must note that we are all connected in some way or the other, when our sisters and brothers are being affected we all get affected, it might be a friend or family that works there, we are all feeling the pinch of all the increases in fuel, butane and other basic daily life commodities. Let us look at this situation not as RED or BLUE but as Belizeans who are asking for our rights to be heard and respected. If we look to the Middle East we will know what the result of oppression of a people can lead to. I love Belize, this is my country, my home, I WILL NOT BE SILENCED.



Last edited by Marty; 02/23/11 09:27 AM.
02/23/11 09:28 AM
02/23/11 09:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,354
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Hon. Perriot Says He Was Dishonorably Railroaded By Union Busting BTL

President of the Belize Communication Workers Union and a BTL employee of 11 years Senator Paul Perriot has resigned from the company.

The phone company sent out a bulletin to workers today saying that Perriot has submitted a letter of resignation dated February 15th - indicating his resignation from the company effective March 31st. Management waived the notice period and accepted his resignation effective immediately, paid him off and Perriot was sent on his way.

But when a Union president who is also the senator for labor resigns, it's a huge deal -it doesn't go away with a tidy explanation. This evening after 5:00 Seven News caught up with Perriot outside the company's gates - who told us it's union busting and they railroaded him into it.

He says it all started when he was transferred to Dangriga at the end of last year - a transfer he resisted because it didn't make sense:…

Paul Perriot, Resigns from BTL
"Yes when I met with them in the initial meeting with the Human Resources Manager, I told them that I didn't want to go to Dangriga, I told them why I didn't want to go to Dangriga. I told them that there were other staff who were able to that job and moreover so the department that I was left in, I was the lead person with our equipment and I wouldn't be in the best interest either for the company for me to leave the department so I objected."

"They had told me initially that I had time to respond and I told them I would have responded that same day or maybe the following day, but I receive my letter of transfer the same evening so before I even responded I receive the letter and since then I did write a letter, I have written others letters to them. Last two weeks ago I met with the head of our department - the general manager actually and I explain to him what I was facing in Dangriga and I tell him that nothing that was said is coming through and I again told him that I cannot continue, I mean there has to be something done by BTL as it relates to my position there in Dangriga."

"His response to me from the company was that I didn't have a choice - I have to return to Dangriga and I said that I wouldn't return and that's when I tendered my resignation. And I have decided to let the courts decide how and if it was right what they did. I look at the situation as a slap in the face for even us in the trade union movement because I represent the laborers and workers on the Senate which is one of the highest bodies within Belize. But it just shows that the government doesn't care what it is or what position you hold even as a Senator representing workers. I am being push around so what could happen to another employee who is not even in the position that I hold? But this is the way they ended up pushing through the door and I know it was calculated and planned to happen this way. It was either I resign or the probationary period given to me would have not been favourable. So I would have been terminated through that process anyway."

Monica Bodden
"Do you feel this is a union busting?"

Paul Perriot, Resigns from BTL
"Definitely union busting. Surprising that the president administration on BTL is doing this to us because they supported the union in 2005 when we were going up against the past administration. It's surprising, I never believe that it would ever come down to where we are right now."

Monica Bodden
"What next for you Mr. Perriot? Are you planning on suing the company?"

Paul Perriot, Resigns from BTL
"Well I plan to take the matter to court and let the court decide if it was union busting or if it was right for them to do what they did."

After our interview Perriot went into a meeting with some members of the Belize Communication Workers Union - but the meeting had to be held outside the compound because it was what management called an unauthorized meeting. Apparently with Perriot's resignation a long standing rift in the Union has re-surfaced.

And now past president Mark Gladden - who was deposed by Perriot last year - is apparently reclaiming the presidency. A bulletin was sent out to staff by BCWU's President, Mark Gladden, this afternoon urging all members not to attend the meeting- saying it was not endorsed in any way or was not organized by the present Executives.

The Gladden message also warns that a code lavender rumoured to be planned for tomorrow is not supported by the union. Of course, the coincidence in all this is not lost on us. Paul Perriot's wife, Christine Perriot was famously terminated almost exactly three years ago on February 27, 2007 - by the then Ashcroft-allied management. There was great hue and cry and multiple court cases which led, at the end of the last year to a victory in the courts for Christine Perriot when she was vindicated and BTL ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

But she still hasn't been paid. According to a BTL public relations representative, a check in excess of four hundred thousand dollars was made for her, but she did not accept it, because of a discrepancy in the court's calculation. According to BTL it has gone back to court, so that matter is still pending.

Now Paul Perriot will also go to court, with the difference being that he resigned and was not terminated…..He argues that he was railroaded into that resignation.

Channel 7

02/23/11 09:36 AM
02/23/11 09:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,354
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Is Perriott’s firing a result of Telemedia Union Building?

Paul Perriott

Paul says that his relations with B.T.L. went downhill following the meeting he attended with the former Telemedia management.

Isani Cayetano

“As president of B.C.W.U. you were of the impression that government was in an ideal situation where it could facilitate the process of Telemedia employees owning shares in the company through Sunshine Holdings. What went wrong between B.C.W.U. and the government supported management that has led to a rift in terms of the ownership of shares in B.T.L.?”

Senator Paul Perriott

“Well definitely Isani, I believe that the government was in a proper position because some of the key people that were with us when we were championing the cause of shares Mr. Nestor Vasquez [and] even the Prime Minister Dean Barrow were with us for shares during the 05 uprisings and they know the value that we as employees held with gaining some minimal percentage of control, well not really control but ownership in the company that we worked for. What has happened now is [that] the issue came up between this Dean Boyce and the Sunshine shares that clouded the whole matter and the government has now taken the stance, well I call it the government because I believe the board is controlled by the government, has taken the stance that they will not honor the twenty-three percent shares. We had grave issues with that as members of the B.C.W.U. because we said that they were a part of this negotiating team with us. They know why we want the shares, why is it that they cannot pass over that control? And I believe there were some ties to if that had occurred then the whole issue of the whole case that they were trying to bring, that the Ashcroft group was trying to bring against the government for the takeover of the shares. The whole case would have fallen down if they would have been passed over to us as employees.”

After leaving Channel Five, Perriott headed over to Telemedia headquarters on St. Thomas Street. The workday had finished and outside the compound he was the center of an impromptu gathering with approximately thirty former co-workers.

Channel 5

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