Frans wants clarity reported GEBE layoffs.

PHILIPSBURG:— Member of Parliament and Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) party Frans Richardson has called on government and GEBE to clarify persistent reports that the World Bank has called for the termination of 70 GEBE employees.

MP Richardson said apparently the World Bank has made the termination of the employees a condition in the US 55 million recovery grant recently signed by the Prime Minister.

Richardson recently posed the question to Minister responsible for GEBE Miklos Giterson during a sitting of Parliament. Giterson responded by stating he has no knowledge of this. Richardson said even if the issue is not specifically stated in the grant document, the language used and messages that were verbalized has raised concerns.

“Nevertheless, with the consequences of mass layoffs clear to everybody, we need to know for certain that this is not a requirement imposed by the World Bank not now or anytime in the future. Saying that operational costs has to be cut when the company’s biggest operational cost is personnel is not something to take lightly,” Richardson said.

“Government cannot entertain what would essentially be putting 70 families on the street. I would like to know if the World Bank has raised the issue at any point in time and how such an issue was handled. If not from government, perhaps GEBE can clarify,” Richardson added.

The MP also queried a reported 10 million guilders that the World Bank said GEBE owed to Airfin Holding for water usage. “We also need clarity on this. Employees are starting to be concerened so we must end all specualtion in a clear manner,” Richardson said.

“Furthermore we need to know if GEBE has signed off on all of the requirements laid out to the company by the World Bank. If not, an explanation is required regarding GEBE’s concerns,” Richardson said.

Source: St. Martin News Network