The memorandum that did not make it (SBRMC & Royal Resorts)

POSTED: 11/6/11 2:00 PM

St. Maarten – On April 26 of this year, the attorney for the Wifol union submitted a memorandum in reply to the Common Court of Justice. The document contests parts of the memorandum of grievance the attorney for Simpson Bay Resort Management Company and Royal Resorts Management Company filed to appeal the February 8 ruling against it in summary proceedings.
The appeals court did not take Wifol’s memorandum into account because it was submitted too late. Wifol’s attorney mr. W.A. van Sambeek wrote to the court yesterday that this is an apparent mistake; he has requested that the court reconsiders its decision in the sense that it will take the memorandum into account.
The memorandum is a twenty-page document that contains a host of arguments that could at least have an influence on the court’s judgment.
Wifol’s attorney charges that, after the February 8-ruling, “Royal resorts refused Wifol-members access to their work. In the meantime the resort remained staffed with a hundred permanent for royal resorts working temp workers. Some Wifol-members accepted lesser conditions to keep their job.
The three-party agreement that granted the resort fiscal benefits and let Wifol-members return to their work was, according to the memorandum, soon followed by a management decision to cut down the working hours of Wifol-members, “while temp workers kept a full-time job.”
The memorandum also presents excerpts from an email of Royal Resorts CEO Richard Corso, suggesting that not the formal employer but Royal Resorts controlled collective labor agreement negotiations: “This negotiation duty is the exclusive responsibility of the management company,” Corso wrote to the Tenants Association of the former Pelican Resort Club.
In the same email, Corso showed limited concern for union-action against the use of temp workers: “Union may back off of threat to go after the Outsourced Company.”
The memorandum states that the majority of the Wifol-members are working at the resort, while for some of them a dismissal permit has been requested. “Royal Resorts has cut their working hours unilaterally, while one hundred temp workers are working full-time. They earn significantly less than the unionized workers.”
Another point that is contested in the document is Royal Resort’s claim that it does not have complete or dominating control over the Pelican Resort Club Owner Company and Management Company. “This is incorrect. One of the board members of the Owner Company and the Management Company was all the time a board member of Royal Resorts. The other board member was the Tenants Association.”
The memorandum points out that Royal Resorts gained control over the Tenants Association between 2004 and 2010 by snapping up 4,000 timeshare weeks from the Owner Company and the Management Company to satisfy debt the companies had built up since 2000. The weeks and the voting rights were transferred to Friendly Islands Property Ltd., and this entity de facto controlled the Tenants Association.
The document furthermore contests that Richard Sutton is not associated with Quantum Investment Ltd., the company that bought the Pelican resort at auction on December 14. “Royal Resorts wants to have your court believe that Sutton has nothing to do with QIT and it supports this position with an unverifiable statement from a trust office in Belize that states on its web site that then identity of a Belize offshore company is confidential.”
Wifol also submitted arguments to support the notion that the companies involved in the swap are all one and the same and that there are strong indications of close ties between Corso, Sutton, Quantum Investment Trust, and Royal Resorts. “The day after the auction (on December 14 – ed.) Simpson Bay Holding NV., the Simpson Bay resort management Company and the Simpson Bay Resort Owner company have been established. QIT bought the latter company already at the auction from Royal Resorts.”
The memorandum furthermore charges that Quantum Investment trust is evading control by the Central Bank and that the company is not registered there.
Lastly, there is the matter of the employment structure after the auction. Between December 16 and January 26 Wifol-members worked for a certain time for the plaintiffs (Simpson Bay Resort and Royal Resorts) “against payment of wages by and under the authority of royal resorts.” This makes the Wifol-members employees of the plaintiffs, Van Sambeek wrote in the memorandum.

Did you like this? Share it:
The memorandum that did not make it (SBRMC & Royal Resorts) by

Comments are closed.