The sentiments of employees are seen posted in French outside Hôtel de la Collectivité during the strike.
MARIGOT–Citizen movements Soualiga United Collective, Soualiga Grass Roots Movement, and union Conféderation Générale du Travail de Guadeloupe (CGTG), have come out in support of union UNI.T 978 in their on-going strike protest against the Collectivité.
President Daniel Gibbs has convened at least five meetings with UNI.T 978 in an effort to resolve the conflict, so far without success. The union has a list of 29 grievances, including demanding the removal of the Director General of Services (DGS).
In their release issued Thursday, the groups mentioned “an obvious deteriorating social climate within the Collectivité, the absolute personalisation of presidential power, the establishment of a new class of arrogant and contemptuous technocrats from metropolitan France in the top ranks of the local administration, the unhealthy divide between the class at the top and the class of inferior local employees at the bottom, the squandering of public money, and failure to respect the fundamental rights of workers.”
Faced with this unprecedented situation, the groups said they were entitled to ask themselves some fundamental questions: “What is the purpose of the French educational system in St. Martin? Is it incapable of producing local civil servants? Or is it a political will to keep us away from positions of responsibility? Our conclusion is clear: When injustice becomes the law, resistance is a duty.”
Furthermore, the groups said that from now on, the most prestigious positions in the Collectivité of St. Martin can no longer be reserved only for French nationals. The executives of the Collectivité must reflect the population of St Martin.
“The President of the Collectivité is in the wrong era. We are no longer in the days of the colony. Therefore, we give the President and his team five days to resolve the essential issues in the interest and respect of the population. After this period, we will keep the population informed of the actions to be taken to ensure respect.”