ILO requests that govt. establish clear criteria for employer rep. | THE DAILY HERALD

VSA Minister Veronica Jansen-Webster with members of the St Maarten delegation at the ILO conference.


PHILIPSBURG–The International Labour Organization (ILO) Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) has requested St Maarten to establish clear criteria for the representation of employers’ and workers’ organisations through consultation with social partners.

The request was made during the 112th session of the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland June 3-14. Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) Veronica Jansen-Webster attended the forum.

St. Maarten was called before the CAS to address two labour-related complaints. One of the complaints dealt with the identification of employer organisations in the country. This issue had caused delays in appointing members to the Social Economic Council SER for more than a year due to a dispute over the legitimate representation of employer organisations.

page6b019eVSA Minister Veronica Jansen-Webster engaged in discussions at the forum.

The CAS committee reviewed the information from the government of St. Maarten and requested that the government establish clear criteria for the representativeness of employers’ and workers’ organisations through consultation with social partners. The committee also urged the government of St. Maarten to engage in effective dialogue with these organisations on all relevant issues, adhering to the convention, including the composition of the socio-economic council.

Additionally, the committee called for measures to ensure SER representatives are appointed by fully autonomous organisations chosen by workers and employers and to convene the SER promptly. The committee also asked for updates on these recommendations and any outstanding information by September 1, 2024.

The other complaint concerned the right to strike, with uncertainties about whether people could strike without facing penalties.

CAS Director Corinne Vargha personally thanked the minister for attending in person and providing a clear explanation of the situation. The delegation from Aruba’s government supported St Maarten, participating in numerous meetings during the conference.

During the ILO conference, Jansen-Webster also met with Dutch ambassador Paul Bekkers and the Netherlands’ Minister of Labour Karien van Gennip. According to a press release from the minister, these discussions were fruitful, leading to a report with several recommendations for St. Maarten to ensure compliance with international labour covenants.

The ILO is the only tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers from its member states to promote decent work worldwide.

Source: The Daily Herald