During the month of July, the Belize Workers’ Union (BWU) negotiated a 4-year agreement (2018-2022) with a subsidiary of the ASR Group, the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). The agreement was approved by the membership on 10 July and the new CBA was signed on 23 July.
Starting in July 2018, the agreement calls for a 10 percent wage increase over the 4-year period (at an annual 2.5 percent) that benefits 142 employees at the BSI Tower Hill factory in Orange Walk and the Slip Dock workers in Corozal. According to the CBA, new employees will be enrolled starting in October 2018 in a defined contribution pension plan, in comparison to the old defined benefit plan and, also, any disciplinary suspension would be paid at half the rate, following the country’s legislation. The BWU will next negotiate on behalf of members at the Storage facilities in Belize City.
The ASR Group is the world’s largest sugar cane refiner with major operations in North America (Domino Sugar and C&H in the US and Redpath in Canada) and in Europe (the Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery in London, SIDUL in Lisbon, Portugal, and a refinery in Brindisi, Italy). One of the partners in the ASR Group is the Fanjul Corp., that has corporate links with the largest sugar producer in the Dominican Republic, the Central Romana, that is also a huge tourist facility that includes an international airport. The Fanjuls are major actors in the agriculture and real estate sectors in the state of Florida, US.