DH editorial: Head in the sand

Thursday’s general strike in Curaçao thankfully ended with an agreement the same evening (see related story). While it lasted only one day the impact was obviously major and things easily could have turned out much worse.

People were also left wondering why the initial strike by employees of contractors working at the Isla oil refinery that led to the national industrial action had to last almost three weeks before the private sector was suddenly able to come up with the money to bridge the remaining gap regarding a new collective labour agreement (CLA) between the two parties represented by the SGTK union and contractor’s association AAV.

The solution also led to lifting the contested island-wide crowd ban, while the controversial law that allegedly would limit Government-owned companies, foundations and other entities in negotiating employment conditions and benefits for their personnel was put on hold pending dialogue with the unions involved.

In St. Maarten too there is tension within the public sector over the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) reported on in today’s paper. Recent letters by the unions asking for a committee to address the outstanding matter remained unanswered.

It concerns the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, so to say that the issue is long overdue would be an understatement. Whether the funds are available to make the payments in full any time soon is doubtful, but surely ignoring the problem is not the answer.

Governing supposedly must mean continuity, so there is a clear responsibility to honour agreements made and expectations created in the past or at the very least to renegotiate. Doing neither is like the proverbial ostrich sticking its head in the sand.
Source: Daily Herald
Head in the sand