SMCU files complaint on Inspectorate

POSTED: 01/21/14 12:37 PM

Questions handling of TelEm labor issue

St. Maarten – President of the St. Maarten Communication Union (SMCU) Ludson Evers has registered concern with some of the hiring policies of government-owned TelEm Group of Companies.

During a Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions (WICLU) press conference, of which he is second vice president, Evers revealed that on behalf of his members in the telecommunications company he had a possible breach of the Labour Laws.

“We sent a letter to the Minister of Labour complaining about the Inspectorate of Labour’s fulfillment of their function. We need to know why there is gentleman that is working in the company and has no legal documents for the island. We pursued it through the Labour Department and were directed to the Inspectorate of Labour who came in. At the end the answer given was that the gentleman is a tech support for the company. Now as a tech support, yes he can work, as he comes for a couple of months and then go. However, there is a letter that was signed by the chairman of the board ( Helma Etnel- CFO) indicating that the gentleman will hold a function of manager in the company. The question then is what is the Inspectorate doing about this? If there is a letter signed by Mrs. Etnel stating that this gentleman has a function within the structure of the company but yet the Inspectorate accepts a verbal answer that he is a tech support. So what is the Inspectorate looking at the letter or the verbal explanation?” Evers questioned.

Evers indicated that a letter outlining the situation and also to seek clarity was sent to Minister of Labour Cornelius de Weever in November.

“We got no response. So we sent a reminder on Friday January 10 and copied it to the Ombudsman. We also are expecting that the Ombudsman do something when a complaint is lodged on a government department,” the trade unionist noted.



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