PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — President of the NAPB, Rogerrel Mauricia, has responded to a recent article circulating on social media and in newspapers in Sint-Maarten. The article highlights the concerns raised by custom officers regarding their working conditions and salaries. The president of NAPB Sint-Maarten was also contacted by his counterpart from Curacao’s union S.T.R.A.F.F., which represents custom officers and police, when the news broke.
During the meetings held by NAPB Sint-Maarten in early August 2023, this union leader visited the custom office and observed that the current structure of the custom department is problematic, potentially leading to issues. This prediction came true as one of the grievances surfaced on social media. The union leader emphasized that the salaries of these workers are barely above the minimum wage, putting them in a difficult situation. He expressed a willingness to provide support to the workers in Sint-Maarten, offering advice and technical assistance to address these concerns.
Mauricia expressed disappointment at the amount of time spent explaining processes and procedures, rather than focusing on the dedicated men and women who leave their homes daily to protect the people of Sint Maarten.
He noted the unfortunate situation where workers must express their frustrations publicly to gain the attention of both their employers and the unions representing them, including NAPB Sint-Maarten. Despite being a smaller group, NAPB Sint-Maarten’s members pay their dues. This is why the president of NAPB Sint-Maarten reached out to the other union with representation. Collectively, they decided to engage with the affected members, understand their grievances, and present those demands to the employer. The decisions made by these members will be respected by their respective union.
Mauricia emphasized that it’s time to recognize the dedication of these hardworking individuals. They are not asking for trivial sums but rather seek a secure future. He urges all Justice workers and their families to maintain faith.