[lg policy] Belize: First Caribbean Bank releases Uwahnie Martinez; to review policy on language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 10 14:20:19 UTC 2014

 First Caribbean Bank releases Uwahnie Martinez; to review policy on
[image: uwahnie martinez First Caribbean Bank releases Uwahnie Martinez; to
review policy on language]

Uwahnie Martinez

Tuesday, September 9, 2014. *AARON HUMES Reporting: *Employee of CIBC
FirstCaribbean International Bank, Uwahnie Martinez of Dangriga Town was
scheduled to leave her post by her own choice as of October.

But she agreed with her employers to leave today after 14 years’ employment.
[image: audrey matura shepherd First Caribbean Bank releases Uwahnie
Martinez; to review policy on language]

Audrey Matura Shepherd

She spent it meeting with superiors in Belize City, joined by
representatives of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU). She leaves with full
benefits and a largely untarnished reputation, but many questions

CWU president Audrey Matura Shepherd says the Union is not satisfied with
the handling of the performance report on Ms. Martinez, nor with the fact
that no apology has been given to her for her suffering under the Bank’s

The Union expects further meetings with the Bank on issues related to
Martinez, and on her behalf as official representative reserves her rights
to court action if needed.

Speaking for the first time, Ms. Martinez herself said the Bank had no
formal policy on speaking languages other than English in its branches and
the action in Dangriga was the work of one manager who had issues with this.
[image: ella hoyos First Caribbean Bank releases Uwahnie Martinez; to
review policy on language]

Ella Hoyos

She did not comment on what directly led to her resignation. But the Bank
itself is still conducting investigations, according to its Human Resources
Manager Ella Hoyos who is based in Barbados, and is therefore in no
position to speak on what it considers an internal matter.

She did comment on the matter of the proposed language policy saying that
the Bank has to develop a separate policy on language from its general
anti-discrimination policy.

This is expected to take about four months, as 17 other nations have to be
consulted, many of whom have multiple languages as part of the national

Hoyos says in the investigation so far conducted she has found no evidence
of illegal movement by the Bank, and neither discrimination, and that
employees are expected to act professionally with all customers –
including, if necessary, speaking with them in their preferred language.

That investigation expects to speak with other persons by the end of the
next week, and a regular meeting with the Union representatives is
scheduled for later this month which will discuss matters including this

With regard to the other employee affected by the incident, he has returned
from leave and his matter has also been taken up by the Union.

Hoyos reminded that the Bank has previous to this had a good working
relationship with Belize’s Garinagu, sponsoring work on the local
Garinagu-language school and recognizing Garifuna Settlement Day, a local
holiday, by decorating the bank in the Garifuna colors of yellow, black and
white, among other things.


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