St. Maarten Prime Minister urges postal workers to hold on to current employer

POSTED: 09/29/11 1:47 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has encouraged the employees of New Post Netherlands Antilles to “hold on to the company as their employer until the transition takes place in the way that it should take place.” She made this statement a day ahead of today’s meeting between the Director of New Post Netherlands Antilles director Franklin Sluis and the employees.

The urging by the prime minister comes as New Post Netherlands Antilles seeks to press forward with its plans to terminate its postal services in St. Maarten on October 9, 2011. This, while the company’s two shareholder governments – Curacao and St. Maarten –, continue to negotiate a transition agreement at the political level. St. Maarten has requested both the postal service operations and the non-postal side, but New Post Netherlands Antilles has said it is transferring only the postal operation.

“This means that the few revenue generating activities that fall under the umbrella of postal services will be taken out and carried out by a branch of the New Post Netherlands Antilles. You can’t run your postal services on a gain,” Wescot-Williams said as explanation of why New Post Netherlands Antilles would seek to keep the non-postal services and how that would be detrimental to Postal Services St. Maarten, which was set up to take over the running the business that New Post Netherlands Antilles currently does.

The prime minister qualified an argument by New Post Netherlands Antilles that Postal Services St. Maarten could compete with them for the non-postal services was invalid because third parties would more likely stick with New Post Netherlands Antilles than switch to Postal Services St. Maarten

“If I am the business person involved I would take the surety and say I’ve been doing business with you and I know who you are so I am not going to get into any fuss, because at the end of the day, their bottom line is business. At the same time, I therefore need to commend the St. Maarten businesses that accepted PSS and decided that because we are on St. Maarten together, we understand what you’re going through we will take you over as the one to provide our services. We have banks that have been having services provided to them by NPNA and some have agreed and others are contemplating to have PSS carry out these services for them, but I think it is unfair,” the prime minister said.

Wescot-Williams also said that the company has understandably not been as forthcoming with information that has been turned over to the union and led to the signing of a transition agreement.

“You are on one hand supposed to be working with St. Maarten on a transition; while on the other hand, you’re looking to take over the non-postal, revenue generating services that were carried out on St. Maarten before. So what kind of information and how are you going to be that forth coming with sharing information with PSS. Anybody accepting this argument at face value is being misled and I believe that the employees, as well by figuring that an agreement cannot be signed that basically commits three parties and only two parties sign that agreement. My advice to the employees, and I will tell them this in meetings as well, is make sure to hold on to NPNA as their employer until the transition takes place in the way that it should take place,” Wescot-Williams said.


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