Nieuwe Post heavily in the red

POSTED: 10/12/11 4:44 PM

Postal workers still on NPNA-payroll

St. Maarten – Nieuwe Post Netherlands Antilles lost 1.4 million guilders on its operations in St. Maarten in 2010. In the first six months of last year, the losses amounted to 600, 000 guilders, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said in parliament yesterday afternoon.
Answering questions from Members of Parliament, Wescot-Williams confirmed that Postal Services St. Maarten was established in October of last year by the government and that it has a concession to conduct postal services. In November NPNA was informed about this.
The Prime Minister said that negotiations in shareholder meetings about the transition of NPNA-activities to St. Maarten had been difficult because parties in these meetings (Curacao and St. Maarten) “kept butting heads, due to their different interests.”
NPNA, doing business as SSP (Soualiga Service Point) asked Minister of Economic Affairs Franklin Meyers in a letter dated October 6 whether it needed a concession for conducting non-postal services like Moneygram and e-Zone.
The Prime Minister said that St. Maarten has a 25 percent stake in the NPNA-assets.
PSS has the concession to conduct postal services; this includes the right to print stamps. PSS recently received a UPU-code that recognizes the service on the international level.
Wescot-Williams noted that the postal workers had downed their tools last week on Thursday and Friday, but that NPNA had locked down the post office on Monday.
Members of parliament focused most of their questions on job security for the postal workers and on the future they have ahead of them. Wescot-Williams said that the employees are still on the NPNA-payroll, but that it is unclear how many, if any, of the employees NPNA will take with it to new activities. PSS has offered all NPNA-employees in St. Maarten a job. But PSS will not take over the employees before NPNA has fulfilled all of its obligations towards them under their collective labor agreement.
In this context it is interesting to note that in the Netherlands the volume of traditional mail decreased by 25 percent between 2000 and 2009. Harry Koorstra, the managing director of TNT in the Netherlands, told NRC Handelsblad in July 2009 that he foresees that by 2019 traditional mail will have disappeared completely.
National Alliance leader William Marlin said that the transition to country status was never meant to create a situation that was worse than it was in the Netherlands Antilles.
“The workers were hoping to at least continue where they left off,” Marlin said.
“It is a pity that, one day after we celebrated the first anniversary of country St. Maarten the postal workers are striking, protesting, and hoping for a breakthrough.”
Marlin inquired about the status of the Soualiga Service Point, whether it has a business license and who are behind this company. He also mentioned rumors that NPNA had been busy taking assets out of the post office and transferred them to the location of SSP on the Pondfill.

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