Operation Clean Sweep resumes

POSTED: 06/12/13 1:02 PM

St. Maarten – The Immigration and Border Protection Service controlled nineteen companies during the Operation Clean Sweep in February and March, the department stated in a press release issued yesterday. They included supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, bars, security companies and casinos. The service found close to 40 infractions and issued 16 fines to companies that violated the labor laws. The controls will continue this week.

Operation Clean Sweep is a joint action of the Immigration and Border Protection Service, the voluntary corps of St. Maarten VKS, the Marechaussee, the Inspectorate VSA (Public Health, Social Affairs and Labor), the Labor Department, the police and the SZV.

During the random controls 51 people were brought in by the immigration mobile control unit. Six of them were given six weeks to leave the island. Up to their departure they were required to report once a week to the immigration department – a measure made necessary by the lack of holding cells.

Immigration also found 30 naturalized Dutch who did not have their papers with them at the time were working for a different company than the one for which they had obtained the permit. They were all fined. The department did not state how high these fines were.

The VSA Inspectorate found one business that had an uninsured employee, 5 businesses that were not registered, 12 businesses that did not have a visible work schedule , 8 businesses that did not have a personnel list, 3 businesses that did not have an overtime list, one business that did not have a general provision for working hours and rest periods and one business that did not pay overtime to its employees.

In the field of safety, two businesses were fined for unsanitary and insufficient urinals, another two did not take measures to prevent irritating vapors, gases or dust in their establishment, yet another two did not take measures to prevent accidents or have in place the standard procedures to provide assistance in case of accidents. One business did not comply with clean drinking water regulations. This must be available to employees free of charge.

The Immigration and Border Protection Service announced in its press release that the controls will continue this week.”We are hereby advising all businesses to have all their documents in order, such as business registration, a personnel list, overtime register, labor registration list, accident insurance, work schedule, insurance and working hours list,” the press release states.

The service notes that everyone should have valid identification and residence or work permits with them.

For safety compliance, the service points out that companies have to pay attention to cleanliness, procedures in case of accidents, clean drinking water for employees, sufficient daylight and efficient artificial lighting, and sufficient ventilation.

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