MADAME ESTATE–The St. Maarten Consumers Coalition expressed its disappointment in St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and the statements it made in the media.
Coalition representative Claire Elshot said she was surprised by the nature of the statements made in SHTA’s press statement in the media last week Thursday. “The tone of their public statements was not the tone that we, as labour representatives, are accustomed to hear from the SHTA representatives in the tripartite or in the Social Economic Council SER,” said Elshot.
She said the press statement was perceived to be very disrespectful in the SHTA’s address to Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Pamela Gordon-Carty and to women in St. Maarten.
Quoting the article published in The Daily Herald last week Thursday, Elshot said, “SHTA noted most work permits granted last year, 25 per cent were for the adult entertainment sector. SHTA would like to know if this industry is going to be forced to follow the same new labour rules, keeping a list of locals qualified for the job and having a government employee sitting in on the interviews.
“As a female worker and as labour union representative myself, I can feel how all my sisters [may – Ed.] feel about this statement of the SHTA. Of all the trade sectors where there are vacancies, why mention the adult entertainment sector and not other sectors where decent work is not provided to local qualified workers first?”
She also questioned why SHTA did not request an urgent meeting with Minister Gordon-Carty, the Tripartite Committee or SER to discuss its views.
Elshot said, “These advisory bodies can provide solicited or unsolicited advice to the government to change or amend policies or legislation after consensus is reached. The SHTA could have requested an urgent discussion in these advisory bodies and come up with a better proposal to guarantee that qualified local residents are [employed] first before employment permits are being requested for qualified foreign workers.
“We expect the SHTA to offer a public apology for their disrespectful way of addressing the issue and for their indecent statement concerning local workers for the adult entertainment industry.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/consumers-coalition-condemns-press-statements-made-by-shta