PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Thursday afternoon, Member of Parliament Grisha Heyliger-Marten called for a Parliamentary inquiry into the developments at PJIA starting in 2019.
“With the latest reports of PJIA’s Commercial Department Manager leaving after only three months on the job and Government continuing to look the other way, I think it’s high time for Parliament to fully and thoroughly investigate what has been happening at PJIA since the current CEO took over at the helm of the company”, according to Heyliger-Marten.
“The latest resignation within the management of PJIA confirms the pattern of mismanagement, incompetence, and maintaining a working environment of favoritism, toxicity, and fear that we have witnessed during the last few years. And with the same CEO in charge, this is clearly no coincidence.
The current CEO has had and created problems with the staff from the beginning of his reign. During the court case which he filed to be reinstated, it became clear that he runs the company like a one-man show. Based on the developments at PJIA since then it is clear that he has not changed his ways for the better. A fish rots from the head, so if we want to save one of the people of St. Martin’s two largest assets, the head needs to go, and fast before the entire company is destroyed”, Heyliger-Marten said.
Since 2020, we have seen the cases of Dexter Doncher, Michael Hyman, and many others who were either forced out at PJIA for standing up for the company, or who left after serving many years out of pure frustration with the way in which the company was run. This includes the secretary of former PJIA President Eugene Holiday. We saw the Dutch Government basically blackmailing the Government of St. Maarten into doing their bidding when it comes to PJIA.
We have seen Royal Schiphol Group having a clear conflict of interest by working as a consultant to PJIA, while appointing Board Members and top level management”, Heyliger-Marten stated.
“Yet despite all this external interference and involvement of highly paid, so-called “experts”, which has cost the taxpayers millions of guilders, the reconstruction of PJIA kept being delayed and is still not finished. High seasons it almost here, and the airport is still a mess.
“Enough is enough”, according to Heyliger-Marten. “Since the Government isn’t capable or willing to structurally address and rectify the situation at PJIA and protect the livelihoods of the workers, I will prepare a proposal for a Parliamentary inquiry and put it to my colleagues for a vote.
Until that takes place, I look forward to the public meeting with the Government regarding PJIA which I requested in November 2022 being finalized as soon as possible. It’s now close to a year since that request was made. And one thing is for sure: if we want to save what is left of PJIA, the contract with the current CEO simply cannot be extended. He has to go”, Heyliger-Marten concluded.