No solution for conflict of Isla-contractors

WILLEMSTAD — Members of trade union SGTK who are associated with the contractors’ association AAV, did not go to work this morning, even though in summary proceedings, the judge had determined that they were to resume work. The AAV had instituted summary proceedings last night in order to end the two-day strike of SGTK. The members are striking because the AAV does not want to sign the umbrella-cao (collective labor agreement) for the contractor sector before all pre-conditions have been complied with.



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In his verdict, the judge set great store by article 34 of the cao. This article departs from the fact that the cao will only become effective when a series of pre-conditions have been complied with. In a press report, the AAV states that the SGTK started the strike because the trade union is of the opinion that the contractors’ association would sign the cao without the compliance of these pre-conditions. These pre-conditions are related to demands to the government and the Isla-refinery to ensure that the cao is applicable for all contractors in the sector and that the available work is in first instance offered to local Curaçao companies, and that there will be a restraint on the establishment of foreign companies which start competing with the local companies.

The judge was of the opinion that this article cannot be ignored and passed sentence on SGTK to call on its members to continue the work within one hour after the verdict under penalty of a fine of 10,000 guilders to a maximum of 100,000 guilders per hour. SGTK complied with the judge’s verdict, but the trade union members indicated last night that they were not intending to comply with the verdict. Therefore, they did not resume their work this morning even though SGTK-chairman Alcides Cova indicated that the employees were prepared to work, but that the gates were closed. However, Isla-spokesperson Kenneth Gijsbertha rejected such. "All employees have a pass enabling them to enter, even if the gate is closed."
There was a lively discussion during the morning hours between the Isla-refinery and a SGTK-delegation, and contractors’ association and the refinery on the other hand. In an explanation, Gijsbertha stated that the refinery had explained to the SGTK that according to them there was no relation between the pre-conditions stated in a protocol that the AAV would first sign with them, and the cao, which is now up for discussion. The refinery also pointed out the consequences of a lengthy action for the operation of the Isla. On the meeting with the AAV, Gijsbertha stated that a protocol proposal was meanwhile up for discussion. "We shall respect the cao, just like we respect all cao’s, but we still have a difference of opinion with regard to what is considered a local company. We maintain the guideline that this concerns a locally registered company, but the AAV wants us to go beyond this". The parties were still busy negotiating internally around noon.
Cova expresses the hope that the parties would still reach an agreement today so that the cao could be signed.