GREAT BAY – United People’s Party (UP) Member of Parliament (MP) Tamara Leonard has written a letter dated October 6, 2017 to the Prime Minister William Marlin via the President of Parliament seeking information about employees of St. Maarten Cable TV.
“St. Maarten is in a dire economic state due to Hurricane Irma. This is no time to add more uncertainty in our community, and more importantly an increase in unemployment,” part of the letter reads.
“After hearing the plight of the workers at St. Maarten Cable TV, a company acquired by St. Maarten Telephone Group of Companies TelEm, I am prompted to call on the Prime Minister as Shareholder Representative to preserve the 30 or more jobs at the company. I also urge him to work with the management of TelEm to keep Cable TV as is and operational for another year. I am certain the Prime Minister is aware of the planned layoffs. However, for good order sake, the following are some questions for the Prime Minister:
“Is he aware of the planned layoffs at Cable TV? If yes, has government call on TelEm to revisit the layoffs in light of the recent devastating hurricane? Can it be confirmed that TelEm, by extension, government intends to ultimately layoff all of the staff and rehire individuals on new contracts at the loss of accumulated benefits for Cable TV?
“How does TelEm, by extension, government plan to tackle the payment of pension to employees of Cable TV whom do not have pension plan, and will be left to fend for themselves if laid off? Was a redundancy planned to establish showing how lay off will take place, and how those jobs will be absorbed by TelEm employees? If yes, provide a copy of plan. If no, why not? What hurdles are there to keeping the employees on for another year?”
MP Tamara added, “The situation at Cable TV should be taken from the human aspect. Dismissals will not affect the employees alone, but their families as well. Moreover, every family now more than ever is dependent on government action to boost the damaged economy. Inaction could bring with it ever more hardship on top of that from Irma.”