PHILIPSBURG:— Former Minister of Labor and now labor mediator Raphael Boasman may soon find himself in hot water for holding a referendum at GEBE on Friday without inviting or even informing the WIFOL/ ASWE who signed a Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) of the rank file (non- managerial) employees of the company.
According to the President of WIFOL/ ASWE Theophillus Thompson the union he heads signed a Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) at the end of 2013 and it is still valid.Thompson said several articles of that CLA did was not executed by the Human Resource Manager Clifford Sasso.
Thompson further explained that the company’s HR had to establish a labor management committee, salary scales had to be properly adjusted and executed, the job description of the workers also had to be put in place but up to this day none of that was done. Thompson said these issues has brought on severe stress on his membership and as such the union did everything possible to get the incompetent Human Resource acting manager to do his job.
Thompson further explained that the union wrote several letters requesting that articles of the CLA be respected and executed but management of the company did absolutely nothing. Those include the former management board that the current temporary manager.
The WIFOL/ASWE leader said that he sent letters and complaints to the former Supervisory Board of Directors of GEBE. He said while the supervisory board received the complaint they refused to sit in a meeting with the union.
Thompson said the same letters of protest was sent to several Ministers, one being now Member of Parliament Maurice Lake, Prime Minister William Marlin, former Minister and now Member of Parliament Cornelius de Weever, yet nothing was done to get the management of GEBE to do their jobs and to respect the CLA signed between the government owned company and the WIFOL/ ASWE.
Thompson said that a complained was filed by the union with the labor mediator Raphael Boasman since March 2016 but to date they have not received a response, but managed to discuss the issues in a meeting with Boasman.
As for the referendum held on Friday Thompson said its illegal and he is considering taking the matter to court because the WIFOL/ASWE who still has a valid CLA for the rank file workers of GEBE was not invited by the mediator to participate in the referendum.
Thompson said that he was contacted by one of his members on Wednesday and was informed that a memo was sent to all the workers (non-managerial) informing them of the referendum.
Thompson said upon getting that information he contacted the labor mediator by sending him a letter of protest and requested information on the referendum but to date he has not gotten any response from labor mediator Raphael Boasman. He said he plans to wait until Monday and if he does not get proper information then the union will head to court as he already contacted the legal representatives of the union.
However, the President of the St. Maarten Communication Union (SMUC) Ludson Evers stated in a press release that the SMCU is now the union representing the ranking file workers of GEBE.
Evers said the referendum was held on Friday July 22nd at the office of GEBE. Evers said GEBE ranking file workers has 139 eligible voters, however, 90 of those workers participated in the election. He said of the 90 votes cast, two were invalid leaving the SMUC with 88 valid votes. Evers further stated that the SMUC is now representing the ranking file workers and they intend to begin negotiations with management to secure a CLA for their membership.
SMN News tried contacting Boasman by telephone for an explanation on the legality of the referendum held at GEBE on Friday but Boasman refused to answer his phone.
Source: St. Martin News Network
EXCLUSIVE: Labor Mediator held illegal referendum at GEBE — Boasman missing in action — WIFOL/ ASWE contemplating court case.