President of the St. Maarten Telecommunication Union Ludson Evers


Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Referendum which is to be held today Wednesday is said to be illegal. This was pointed out by the President of the St. Maarten Telecommunication Union Ludson Evers who stated that the Chief Executive Officer for TELem Kendall Dupersoy is pushing for the referendum because he refuses to meet with the union.

The Chief Executive Officer wants the managers to be represented separately by another union of his choice which is apparently his reason for the referendum. In the past the Telecommunications Union have represented both management and the workers of TELem.

“I do not have a problem with management wanting to be represented separately, but because we have a Collective Labor Agreement in place management needs to sit with us to determine the way forward,” said Evers.

“It seems like the CEO wants to break the Collective Labor Agreement without meeting with the union even though the agreement existed more than 10 years and have a referendum solely for the managers because of his authoritarian way of managing the company,” Evers said.

He noted that they were correspondence over a period of four months which included the Government Mediator Marcellina Loblack regarding this issue. In a recent correspondence with the Mediator it was stated clearly the position of the union and requested an urgent meeting to bring parties together so as to come to some consensus.

To date the Mediator have not responded and as a result in a letter dated October 14, 2022 which she sent to the managers indicating (in error) that the referendum will held on October 19, 2021. The Union is requesting that the referendum be postponed while calling a meeting to resolve the matter.

“Up to Tuesday evening October18, 2022, we have not received a response from the government Mediator. We have noted that she does not answer her emails sent to the union promptly,” he said. In the union letter to the Mediator they indicated that because of the error of the date, the meeting is illegal.” Evers said

Meanwhile, copies of the letter were also sent to the Ombudsman and the Minister of Labor Omar Ottley regarding this situation.