Thompson: Do not sign contracts without advicePOSTED: 08/30/13 12:23 PM
St. Maarten – “Persons should not sign any documents or agreement given to them by management unless they get an advice. They can either go to the Labor Office or they can visit Wifol’s Office and they will be dealt with accordingly,” President of Wifol, Theophilus Thompson said.
Thompson has issued words of caution to the general labor force on St. Maarten after what he calls the increased infringement of workers’ rights. Thompson said that it is a public secret on St. Maarten that workers are being intimidated into signing agreements by their employers.
“We have other employees coming to the Wifol building and seeking advice. We have also gone to speak with several store managers and were able to rectify certain discrepancies and certain grievances and put things back to normal,” he related.
Thompson was at the time speaking during the Windward Islands Chamber of Labor Unions (WICLU) weekly press briefing. Employees in the retail sector who are working with stores for a longtime are being “pushed out” with ulterior motives.
“These employees are being put under a lot of unreasonable pressure so that they can either walk off of the job or do something which would cause them to lose their job. On the other hand some persons have been given ultimatum to sign mutual agreements and that has brought our concern to the forefront.”
The union leader encouraged workers to either visit the Labor Office or Wifol to get more information on their rights and responsibilities.
“This is important; you don’t have to sign any agreement unless you fully understand what you are signing. You don’t want to sign away your rights or benefits that you are entitled to,” he concluded.