Wifol members seek pay ahead of stay hearing (Simpson Bay Resort)

POSTED: 04/13/12 4:19 PM

Thompson: “This is a very serious matter”

St. Maarten – Members of the Workers Institute for Organized Labor (Wifol) have been asked to “come out massive tomorrow” (Friday) for the handling of an application for a stay of execution on the third ruling that states that management of Simpson Bay Resort must respect the Collective Labor Agreement for Supervisors and Line Personnel and the Collective Labor Agreement for middle management and administrative personnel. The ruling was handed down on April 2 after a trial based on merits and the resort’s attorney Jairo Bloem immediately announced that his client was considering appealing. On April 10 Bloem confirmed an appeal would be filed that day and announced that he expected the court to handle a request for stay of execution that he submitted on April 5, by the end of the week. The court has set 9:00 a.m. today as the date for the hearing on the stay of execution.

Despite the announcement of the appeal and the upcoming handling of the stay of execution the employees of the former Pelican Resort Club went to Simpson Bay Resort to collect their pay on Thursday. They were apparently told that the resort’s General Manager Jules James, who is also a member of parliament, was not on property to respond to their queries about their salary as he was attending a central committee meeting. The Wifol members, led by their union leader Theophilus Thompson, then went there in an attempt to meet with James. When the MP and resort manager did eventually leave the legislative hall it was to walk down the stairs and to his car, which was parked at the government administration building. The Wifol members gave chase but James was just able to leave the lot and drive way, while the Wifol members tried to get him to talk to them. Some even pounded on his car as he left.

Once James had left Thompson, followed by the union’s members, walked into the government building to seek an audience with the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever. Security officers informed them that the minister was not in the building and so they could not be granted an audience. The group then left the building with some indicating that there was a need for “action” and others reminding their counterparts that all their actions must conform with the law so their “rights and verdict are not jeopardized.”

“Be at the court tomorrow (Friday). We don’t want to jeopardize our rights and our verdict. We are going out massive tomorrow (Friday) in our t-shirts. This is a very serious matter,” Thompson said.

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