Simpson Bay Resort appeals latest ruling

POSTED: 04/11/12 2:33 PM

St. Maarten – The attorney for Simpson Bay Resort Management Company Jairo Bloem filed an appeal petition on Tuesday to an April 2 ruling by the Court of First Instance that the company must respect the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) for the line personnel and supervisors of Pelican Resort Club, the Collective Labor Agreement for Middle Management and Administrative Personnel of Pelican Resort Club and the underlying contracts with the employees of the former Pelican Resort Club.
Next to ordering that the resort management respect the collective labor agreements the contested ruling, which came after a trial on merits, also requires that Simpson Bay Resort pays the employees’ wages based on the collective labor agreements until the moment that they are not valid. The resort will have to pay $5, 000 for every day or part thereof that it does not live up to the ruling. This will continue to a maximum of $1, 000, 000. The court has also ordered the resort to pay $50, 000 plus legal interest from December 17 because Bloem did not protest a claim for attempting to damage Wifol’s reputation by offering the union’s members contracts.
Simpson Bay Resort has also been ordered to pay for the cost of the proceedings that have been incurred by Wifol, 100 guilders ($55) in court fees, any bailiff fees and 1, 800 guilders ($1, 000) for attorney fees. The ruling became enforceable at the moment it was delivered and the judge has also dismissed any further or other claims.
Bloem filed for a stay of the ruling last Thursday and anticipates the court will hear the matter this week. Bloem refused to state what led his client to decide to appeal, choosing instead to maintain a previous position.
“I maintain that the content of rulings should be discussed in court,” Bloem said.

Counter-position
One of the attorneys for the Workers Institute for Organised Labor (Wifol) in the fight with Simpson Bay Resort – Wim van Sambeek – believes the resort’s management has made an unwise decision by appealing and believes that this time the resort’s management will lose on appeal.
“This is a full position based on the merits and we feel when the high court looks at it, they will come to the same position,” van Sambeek said.
The attorney and the union believe the best option at this stage is for the union and the resort’s management to meet and discuss the future of the employees.
“We notice that the management has again stated to the timeshare owners that there could be a bankruptcy, but we believe that they should sit with us, especially considering that Wifol wants its members to be employed in a financially healthy resort. It would be more productive to sit at the table and see how this can be worked out. We find it regrettable that no communication is possible to reach a solution,” van Sambeek said.

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