Wifol calls for meeting with Simpson Bay Resort’s managementPOSTED: 12/9/11 1:46 PM
St. Maarten – The Workers Institute for Organized Labor (Wifol) sent the management of Simpson Bay Resort and Marina and the Villas at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina a letter Wednesday afternoon requesting a meeting. The union wants to use the gathering to come to an out of court settlement for the employees to return to work, without losing any of their rights. If no meeting is held or no agreement is reached the union says that it will have to resort to other actions.
The union’s president Theophilus Thompson also announced Thursday that they’ve started the procedure to file an appeal at the Supreme Court. He’s hoping the union’s members and all workers on St. Maarten will support his request for donations to help pay for the filing and the eventual hearing. The union leader is unsure of the exact cost, but he is sure that it will be an expensive measure as a firm in the Netherlands must be retained next to the local representation – currently HBN Law.
“In time past the labor department would have assisted through the provision of legal aid, but that is now off the table and it places the works in jeopardy when they have to go up against these large companies with deep pockets. We will forward this concern in writing to the Minister of Labor through the proper channels and we believe this continued battle is a sign that the union is committed and dedicated,” Thompson said.
People who want to make donations can drop them off at the Wifol on the Walter J. Nisbeth Road.
Later he’d add, “The presence of a labor court in St. Maarten would have helped. We had already started working on that before 10-10-10 along with a proposal for the dismissal committee to get more authority and we still want it – the labor court – to happen.”
The union’s request for a meeting is just one of several efforts being made to come to an out of court solution. Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever is also moving towards that point. He met the union Wednesday afternoon to hear their side and met the timeshare resort’s management today and hopes to eventually bring parties together.
“Now everyone realizes the situation is becoming explosive. The next step will be a meeting of parties and we really hope that the staffers will be able to get back to work soon,” Thompson said.