Thompson demands employees get their contracts

POSTED: 01/24/12 1:46 PM

St. Maarten – The Worker’s Institute for Organized Labor (WIFOL) has protested that union members are not being given copies of their contracts either as part of a review before signing them or after they have signed them. The union is calling on the Department of Labor Affairs to investigate the charge and intervene in “this blatant violation by Simpson Bay Resort Management Company and the resort’s general manager (Jules James edi.,-).”
“I foresee that besides the court case that we have recently filed, that there could be more industrial action if there is no intervention from the Labor Office. We are giving the Labor Office an opportunity, and while I am not issuing an ultimatum, this is not a situation that we will allow to prolong. The appropriate industrial action will be taken,” WIFOL President Theophilus Thompson
Thompson is confident he can take this position on behalf of the workers because despite the new situation they all remain members of the union and he’s sent two letters to Simpson Bay Resort Management Company that the union intends to amend and renegotiate the Collective Labor Agreement for Line Personnel and Supervisors that expired on December 31, 2011.
The first letter dated October 5, 2011 states, “In accordance with Article 2:1, the Workers Institute for Organized Labour (WIFOL) informs you of its intention to amend and renegotiate the Collective Labour Agreement for the employees of Line Personnel and Supervisors of Pelican resort Club, which is due to expire on December 31, 2011. Details and points will follow at a later date, after which we would set up date and time to commence renegotiations.” This letter was sent within the 45 to 90 day window either party had to declare their intentions to either amend or terminate the agreement, but the resort never according to Thompson the resort never replied.
The lack of answer led the union to reiterate its position in a December 30, 2011 letter which states, “As a follow-up to our letter dated October 5, 2011, the Board of WIFOL hereby inform you that in accordance with Article 2 of the Collective Labour Agreements, we hereby apply said Article 2:2:3.” The referenced article in the letter stipulates that if parties do not serve notice then the C.L.A. “continues in force for another year.”

Thompson is also querying the training program the resort’s attorney Jairo Bloem announced when he offered the resort’s employees an exclusive first option to available positions at the resort.
“Ninety-percent of the employees have been trained and certified under the Caribcert program, which is endorsed by Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association. Also it’s same Royal Resorts that supported the training of these employees before. They are well qualified and certified employees and who they should be training is the untrained and outsource workers that are at the resort now,” Thompson said.

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