PHILIPSBURG–Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions (WICLU) representative Claire Elshot led the solidarity march on Friday afternoon. A small group turned out for the march, but that did not stop union leaders and workers present from marching.
The walk for solidarity was intended to send a strong message that workers are an integral part of the process to rebuild St. Maarten Strong and that their rights to employment should be respected. The walk is the first step by WICLU to highlight the plight of workers since the September hurricanes. The march was themed “SXM Workers Strong: We carry St. Maarten.”
Workers and union leaders gathered at the Windward Islands Federation of Labour (WIFOL) Building on Walter Nisbeth Road (Pondfill) at 2:00pm “December 15, Kingdom Day, because St. Maarten is still part of the Kingdom and it’s time that workers get organised to manifest their discontent and show what has been going on post-Hurricane Irma,” said Elshot.
She said it was alarming to know the number of job losses, salary cuts and reduced workdays to which workers have been subjected since the September hurricanes. Many unionised and non-unionised workers are affected. “St. Maarten should be aware of what is going on,” she said.
She told workers to remember that while the hurricane had taken many roofs, it did not blow away the country’s labour laws. The labour laws are intact and employers still have to adhere to them.
The route of the march was from the WIFOL Building to Sundial School and then back to the WIFOL building.
Several political leaders were also present for the march.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71942-wiclu-members-march-in-the-name-of-labour