SMCU says staffers fed up no CEO appointed yet for TelEm

PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Communications Union (SMCU) says its members at the TelEm Group are “tired” that a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has not yet been appointed to the company, despite promises that this would have been done already.

Union President Ludson Evers alluded to statements made by Prime Minister William Marlin before the September 26 elections that three new board members will be added to the board six weeks after the elections and immediately after this, a new CEO will be appointed.

“We are now in the month of December 2016, nine weeks after elections and the three board members who passed the screening are still not appointed to the board of directors to allow one board member to resign from his position and become CEO as the prime minister had planned,” the union said.

“In the meantime, TelEm is operating without a CEO and the employees are now tired of the situation because there is no one to hold ultimately responsible for the bad decisions that are being made in the company. The situation in TelEm is so tense that Department of Planning and Engineering decided that they no longer want to work under the leadership of Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Eldert Louisa.”

Evers said employees had sent a letter to SMCU demanding an urgent meeting with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Helma Etnel and Louisa. This meeting was held on November 23.

During this meeting the group of engineers and planners said they no longer want to work under the “disrespectful” managing style of the CTO any longer. Etnel, the union said, has indicated on numerous occasions that she is not senior to the CTO and therefore cannot remove him from his function. “The meeting was going in circles and the employees decided to leave the meeting. They wrote a letter to the board requesting a meeting with all the members of the board; the letter was delivered the same day (November 23), of the meeting… The chairman of the board refused to take the letter because he felt it is operational matters, but the chairman maybe forgot that TelEm does not have a CEO to make ultimate decisions and because of this, the board is responsible to handle any and all complains on the directors of the company.”

The union also sent a letter to board members and on November 29, they sent a mail to Marlin requesting a meeting to determine whether he can “bring some clarity in the situation at hand.”

SMCU contends that because TelEm “does not have leadership (a CEO) there is no one to hold ultimately responsible for the actions of the directors of TelEm because the board of directors… doesn’t want to pick up their responsibilities.”

Source: The Daily Herald