Union criticizes decision makers

POSTED: 08/14/15 9:41 AM

St. Maarten -The WICSU/PSU Union extends condolences on behalf of the entire board and membership to Officer Benjamin’s entire family, especially to his father Gilbert, who is also a member of the Union, the officer’s widow and their 5-year-old son.

“Officer Benjamin was an exemplary officer, whose way of handling has left its mark on many individuals, including his colleagues, who are now devastated not only by his loss, but the way in which he was taken from among their midst. Much strength is wished to them as well,” the union stated in an email.

Members of the police force approached the union’s executive board in the past couple of days. They were totally distraught over what took place with their colleague and were of the opinion that “something has to be done and someone’s head has to roll because responsibility has to be assumed by those in charge.” The Union also took note of all the rushed statements issued by the authorities’ right after the incident, especially those brought forward by the elected and appointed officials.

The questions that the union’s executive board is asking to government are, “Why were none of the measures now being mentioned, executed before? Would things have gone on the same way as they were, if our Officer was not murdered? Why is it that only now, the officials that are charged with leading this country know what the problem is and have all the ideas in the world as to how to fix it? Why didn’t it bother our leaders and the ones responsible for their wellbeing before, as they all knew a long time ago, that our police force is short staffed and vulnerable to attacks whether they were off or on the job? Why have they not been treated fairly as far as their promotions were concerned, riding around protecting our town and our people without any protective gear, giving their all while receiving little in return?”

The questions did not stop there: Why does it seem as if everyone is so complacent when they are sitting in the seat of the elected or the appointed instead of doing what they were elected or appointed to do? What do the workers have to do in order to get the attention of their superiors when they try to bring across a point pertaining to how things can be better in order for them to execute their tasks in a much safer way? Why is it that quite a number of those decision makers that are running our country, whether as ministers or parliamentarians, seem to be so clueless and out of touch as far as it pertains as to how things actually are in the work force? Why are they all pretending to know, while they actually have no clue?

“It is indeed a very sad day when only when these things happen, our officials come out and speak up about the measures that will be taken, instead of prior, in order to help avoid these type of happenings,” the union stated

WICSU/PSU intends to continue working closely with the other unions that represents civil servants especially those falling under the justice chain, to ensure safety for its members and their colleagues. The union is aware that there are other departments like the prison, immigration, Customs and Coast Guard, where the workers plight seems to be falling on deaf ears as far as their safety and other urgent issues are concerned.

The union demands that the minister of justice, his cabinet and staff, put priority towards securing the workers, so that they have a sense of security and are totally safe when executing their tasks. “The workers need to be safe in all areas at all times and a greater effort has to be made in order to ensure  that occurrences such as this recent one does not have much chance of being repeated.”

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