WIFOL expected to present proposal on Thursday
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, says that she hopes to receive a proposal from the Windward Islands Federation of Labour (WIFOL) on Thursday regarding Pelican Resort’s reopening.
"I have not received any response from the WIFOL union on the proposal regarding Pelican’s reopening. The expectation was that by 4.00 pm on Wednesday afternoon that response would have been received.
"However, the President has informed us that he will strive to have the Union’s position communicated to me by tomorrow (Thursday).
"The proposal which has been presented to both parties, has documented as good as possible the positions from these parties as received from them during several discussions," Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams disclosed to DCOMM on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister pointed out that no option available to government in terms of forcing a solution is one that has a short term effect.
Because of questions that have been raised with respect to the various options, the Hon. Prime Minister in this context submits the following clarifications:
Is expropriation a possibility? Yes, there is legislation that governs expropriation of property. However, the conditions that apply are rigid, and require capital backing and protect the rights of private ownership as much as possible.
Is revoking a license because of non compliance an option? This is also a possibility, but only after a period of inactivity or no business activity.
Was government the party that ruled in the "buy-out auction" of the resort? No, government had no part to play.
Was it in accordance with corporate law? If contested, the courts will have to decide if the ‘buy-out auction" was a proper one.
"The government understands that emotions run high, but government too has to follow the law and none better than government to understand the impact this matter is having on our island. It is for this reason and none other, that government is treading carefully and seeking solutions. No one is helped by drawn out court cases, yet it is important that questions regarding legality of actions by parties be answered in a court of law," Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot explained on Wednesday.
The prime minister has received hundreds of emails from timeshare owners and acknowledges receipt of them. Government is quite cognizant of the hardship caused to many time-share owners and wants to assure, that every effort is being made to bring this matter to a successful conclusion.