French Quarter and Grand Case closed for several days to accommodate Marigot Post Office.
MARIGOT: — Workers at all the Post Office on the French side down their tools and began industrial action on Wednesday morning. Vanessa Chatou representative of the SUD-PTT-GWA union told
SMN News that the postal workers were forced to take industrial actions for several reasons. She said that the Post Offices on the French side are understaffed, and they are working in deplorable conditions, stress and a lack of training to use the Espace Service Client (ESC).
Chatou said that the union representative met with the Manager of the Post Offices on St. Martin Madame Roche who promised to fill the vacancies of at least two of the workers who are no longer in service. That meeting she said was held on July 22nd 2016 but by July 25th the manager annulled her decision without giving the union any reasons for her decision. Chatou said that while they are lacking at least seven workers, those that are working are under severe stress because they have to close the Post Offices in French Quarter and Grand Case in order to provide services at Marigot Post Office that was renovated and now has a new system in place.
Chatou said that while the workers are asked to guide the clients to use the ESC services they themselves did not get the proper training to use the services properly. She said the postal workers were supposed to travel to Guadeloupe for training but instead two personnel from Guadeloupe to St. Maarten on July 19th and gave the workers about two and half hours of pro-training.
Chatou said prior to the strike the Post Office in French Quarter had to close for three days leaving those districts without services, and when they opened the fourth day the manager forced the workers to close and return to Marigot to work. She said that this causes some confusion because the clients in those districts that were inside the Post Offices did not take the decision lightly. Chatou said the manager told the union and the workers she does not know where she is going to find workers to fill the vacancies at the Post Office. She said St. Martin supposed to have 24 postal workers for the Grand Public (tellers) but at the moment they only have 17.
Chatou said another issue they have is that the manager wants to eliminate the services of the security and leave the workers work unprotected, this she said cannot happen.
She said the union is asking for the vacancies to be filled, they want to secure the services of the security for the Post Offices and they are also asking that all sanctions against the workers be removed. Chatou said that each time the workers take action they are sanctioned even though they are in their rights.
Asked if the manager met with the union on Wednesday now that all the Post Offices are closed, Chatou said that the manager called the union in Guadeloupe after midday on Wednesday and asked to meet with them on Thursday. She said the SUD-PTT- GWA representatives is expected to travel to St. Martin on Thursday and meeting will be held during the day on Thursday. She said all Post Offices will remain closed until an agreement is reached with the union.
Source: St. Martin News Network
French Post Offices on Strike — Lack of workers and training pushed workers to take industrial action.