~ And sale of TelEm halted ~
PHILIPSBURG–TelEm workers backed by their union are calling for the company to reopen the vacancy for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position and want the company to stop the sale of TelEm.
The workers said the selection process needs to be done in an open and transparent manner, allowing internal candidates a fair opportunity to apply and participate in the interviews.
The workers outlined their concerns and demands in a letter hand-delivered to Prime Minister William Marlin on Wednesday. The letter was signed by 72 workers.
“It is essential that persons qualified for this important position (CEO) be based on the criteria established in the requirement documentation apply,” the workers said in the letter.
Regarding the sale of TelEm Group, the workers say TelEm is owned by “the people of country St. Maarten. Our government officials should do all in their powers to protect and safeguard the jobs that were created for our country.”
The workers say also that the term of the present board of directors has expired and the current supervisory board is no longer legal based on the articles of the code of Good Governance. “The right and experienced persons should be appointed to the board to help protect the business.”
According to the workers, the selection of the CEO began and there were no internal vacancies posted to allow staff to apply for the position. “Transparency and integrity should be key points to validate in the selection criteria. Candidates that do not meet the criteria established should not be allowed to continue in the interview process. The company has been operating without a CEO for approximately seven years. The articles of incorporation clearly speak of the position and the role of a CEO,” the letter read. “A CEO is needed to structure the company and to stop all wrongdoings within the organisation and to protect the employees of the company as well as the company itself.”
The workers want a CEO appointed immediately and dismiss the present management board. The St. Maarten Telecom Operating Company was established in 2007. “The role of the board members on the Holding Company is not clear and this has to be rectified by the CEO.
“The presentations given starts with the word ‘if,’ it is fair to say that we have restructured the company in 2012 and was ready to partner ‘if.’ A strong regulator can only come into play if our government allows it. We have laws and regulations in place to protect our local telephone company. The partnering of the TelEm Group deviated to the sale of 60 per cent of TelCell on the same word ‘If.’ The reality is that if TelCell is sold, after five years, the majority of TelEm employees will be unemployed (this is a guarantee).”
The workers say TelEm has proven to be a profitable company with millions in profit for 2015. “2012 was the only year that we did not have a profit and management stated that this was due to the restructuring. The Bureau of Telecommunications (and Post) has to investigate and enforce the laws that are established. The two licences that were given out should have been pulled because the businesses are not in operation and with proper and legitimate investigation it might be that these businesses were never in operation. Government should continue to assist in keeping existing jobs for its people and not decrease jobs for them.”
The workers said these measures will ensure that government applies openness and transparency in the system to obtain the best results, the protection and job security for the TelEm Group employees and will ensure that the sale of TelEm comes to a permanent halt.
Source: Daily Herald
TelEm staff wants vacancy reopened for CEO position