Marine trades fire back at Mingo: Call his conclusions “ludicrous”

POSTED: 01/29/14 11:34 AM

St. Maarten – At the recent inauguration of the Simpson Bay Causeway, CEO of the Harbor Group of Companies blasted members of the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA). Many of them “forget that the same government, or government owned company who is criticized, is the same the one who gives them the tools to be successful: no customs, ease of foreign investment, and labour, use of the natural resources and infrastructure,” Mingo said.  He lectured the association by reminding them that “your role as good corporate citizen also means that if you proclaim to have built an industry this does not give you the right to destroy it or dictate and strong arm others but include others,” Mingo slammed. “You either participate in sustainable development or not. But don’t try to camouflage programs in the name of a good corporate citizen. Be real here.”

But the SMMTA isn’t sitting quiet. Yesterday it shot back with a press release of its own. “The SMMT has with great surprise taken note of the comments, opinions and threat expressed by Mark Mingo, one of its own board members, at the official inauguration of the Simpson Bay Causeway on Saturday 25th January,” the association said. “In his address Mingo, in his capacity as CEO of the St. Maarten Harbor Group of Companies, stated that the SMMTA 1) was out to destroy the marine industry, 2) uses strong-arm tactics, 3) dictates to others and 4) camouflages programs in the ”name of good corporate citizens.”

“He went on to suggest that the association does not have Country Sint Maarten at heart and that it does ‘not see the full picture,’” the association said of the Harbor Group CEO. “He then proceeded to issue a threat to the very institution he is a board member of. The SMMTA openly requests Mark Mingo to advise the association and the general public which behavior or actions have led to what the association can only term as his ludicrous conclusions,” the association chided.

“The SMMTA is the official representative of 100 member companies in, or related to the marine sector of St. Maarten/St. Martin, representing a total investment of hundreds of millions of US dollars, as well as providing jobs for well over 2,500 St. Maarten/St. Martin residents,” the association claimed.

“The Association’s board, of which Mingo is a member for a second term, has not yet had the benefit of understanding the position which Mingo has proclaimed to a wide audience. One would expect Mingo to express his concerns at a marine trades board meeting, if his intention was really to remedy any potential problems,” the association said.

“It should be noted that the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association has not opposed the causeway project at any time, other than pointing out that it was not at all a project aimed at benefitting the marine industry, but rather an investment in much needed infrastructure to alleviate vehicular traffic congestion. Regardless of any comments by Mingo, the SMMTA applauds and congratulates all involved with the design, building and operation of the Causeway and looks forward to Mark Mingo’s public explanation of his accusations,” the press release concluded.

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