PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Labour veterans Claire Elshot-Aventurin, William Adolph Reed and Patricia Riley were honoured during this year’s Labour Day programme hosted by the Government and labour unions at the Belaire Community Centre on Labour Day, May 1.
Minister of Labour Emil Lee said in his address, “Today we come together in unity and solidarity to recognise our local workers, our local heroes.
“To those that have and continue to contribute to St Maarten, thank you. Without your efforts, there’s no doubt that St Maarten wouldn’t have become the leader in Caribbean tourism that it is today.
“St Maarten has endured and overcome many challenging times and despite the blow from Irma, St Maarten will rise again. But, let’s be candid and honest with ourselves, this recovery period will be one of the most challenging times St Maarten has experienced.
“Our airport has been badly damaged and apparently still working to resolve its insurance claim, a story which is far too common. Anecdotally, many businesses and residents speak about unresolved or unacceptable insurance settlements. Government also struggles with its own insurance claims.
“There can be little doubt that these will be challenging times ahead, but today is a day to celebrate and come together and that is exactly the message that I want to bring today. It is only through unity and solidarity will St Maarten build back better. We have an opportunity to build back better, not only stronger buildings but a stronger economy, one that is resilient to climate change, one that cares for our environment, one that ensures that no one is left behind, one that ensures that everyone can work with pride, dignity and respect.
“It would be easy … even understandable that we resort to fighting amongst ourselves … but St Maarten needs us to continue to work together as we have been doing already. Lean on each other. Complement each other.
“I want to thank the Ministry of VSA [Public Health, Social Development and Labour – Ed.]. They were there immediately after Irma and ever since despite the most difficult of circumstances and in spite of their own personal challenges, they have worked tirelessly to serve the community.
“I know I don’t say ‘thank you’ enough, or ‘good job’ often enough. Thank you. I want to thank the unions for being amazing social partners. We have maintained an excellent relationship over the past two years and I look forward to continuing that relationship.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/76188-elshot-reed-and-riley-honoured-on-labour-day