SMCU files injunction to stop firing of Cable TV workers

PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Communications Union (SMCU) has kept its word and has filed an injunction against the TelEm Group to prevent the company from dismissing St. Maarten Cable TV workers.

TelEm Group purchased Cable TV on Friday, September 20, 2016.

SMCU President Ludson Evers said the injunction had been filed last week. Its objective is to prevent the TelEm Group from firing any of the St. Maarten Cable TV workers and to ensure that these workers get the same benefits as those received during the restructuring of the TelEm Group several years ago. Evers said he had learnt that no collective dismissal had been filed up to last week Friday to let go of any of the workers.

“The union is looking for Cable TV workers to get the same treatment that was given to TelEm workers in 2012 based on a restructuring,” he said.

Evers said Cable TV has assets that will have to be transferred to TelEm’s holding company and employees will have to be transferred to TelEm’s operating company.

“The union is aware that not all employees have to be transferred, but we are just asking them to use the precedents that had already been set. Use the same process that had been used in the past and this process is to finalise the social plan that had been in place and the transition agreement that is in place,” he said.

Evers said there are a group of Cable TV employees who are over age 60 and he does not foresee these employees continuing with the company. He said the social plan should be applied.

Cable TV Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kendall Dupersoy had told this newspaper in October that staffers would receive a severance package way above what is legally required. The TelEm Group will also be offering coaching, training and assistance in areas such as rewriting of the worker’s curriculum vitae (CV) to those who need it and those who want to become reemployed.

Additionally, if an opening becomes available within the TelEm Group in the future, the company will first look internally and after that will look at the former St. Maarten Cable TV staffers before hiring externally.

Dupersoy had said at the time that when TelEm purchased the assets of St. Maarten Cable TV, staffers were aware that there would be job losses due to redundant positions. He said the company was not profitable. St. Maarten Cable TV currently has 28 employees and four contractors who work for the company.

Source: The Daily Herald