SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) – PJIAE management says it had to tap into much-needed reserves in order to meet the recent demands Airport workers and having after having hit first by a devastating hurricane Irma and in recent months a Coronavirus crisis.
PJIAE management says the demands of its staff is understandable, noting that during the last three years, certain staff benefits were deferred, with the firm intention and promise to compensate those in 2020.
“Things changed when COVID-19 hit the island. The landscape itself changed and PJIAE was in a very weak position of having no revenues and an uncertain forecast,” said Airport CEO Brian Mingo over the weekend.
Mr. Mingo said, management at the time decided to preserve job security for the permanent staff and also their base salary.
“With the settlement promise made, we needed to find a balance between safeguarding the continuity of the airport, preventing staff lay-offs and the understandable demands of the staff, all of this during these pressing times,” said Mr. Mingo.
Mr. Mingo said, said an agreement with the ABVO union has been signed by himself and his colleagues on the Management Board as well as representatives of the ABVO union and the government mediator, Marcelina Loblack, as an official witness to the agreement, noting that the government mediators had a valuable role in getting this done.
“Airport and unions have reached a balanced outcome which does justice to the staff and the situation of the airport. A win for the staff is a win for PJIAE,” said the Airport CEO, Mr. Mingo.
“I wish to thank everyone who contributed, and also the members of the Supervisory Board for their support in coming to this agreement.
When I took on the job to rebuild the airport in 2019, the company was hurt, it was weakened and still limited from the 2017 events of IRMA. The damage was not only structural and financial, but also heavily HR related, I have overlooked this and postponed the settlement promised to the staff, it was a business decision which we recently corrected.
I am glad that we have now fixed this, if staff wins, PJIAE wins, and we are looking forward to continue working with our staff, business partners and government on the reopening of the airport to welcome our visitors to Sint Maarten and to continue PJIAE’s mission, to rebuild the airport of the future.