Press Statement from WIFOL

New court case

After many attempts made by the WIFOL to dialogue with Royal Resort (RR) and Simpson Bay Resort (SBRMC) and those attempts were rejected by the Management, Last week the attorneys of Wifol initiated a court case against Royal Resort (RR) and Simpson Bay Resort (SBRMC) at the Court of First Instance.


Wifol asked the court to order both RR and SBRMC to stick with the "Pelican CLA". Such claim has been awarded twice in a summary procedure by the court of first instance and was also twice set aside by the Common Court of Justice.

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This new court action is a so-called procedure on the merits and therefore differs from the ones (the summary procedures) that have been tried last year. Those previous procedures were less extensive and does not give the Court a possibility to fully weigh all the evidence that is presented by parties. In a procedure on the merits, the Court will look more careful at the evidence and will be able to hear witnesses. Hearing witnesses is not possible in a summary procedure.


WIFOL is of the opinion that, both the Court in First Instance and the Common Court will come to the conclusion that both RR and SBRMC are bound by the "Pelican CLA" and that those defendants will be ordered to fully respect the CLA and pay the members of Wifol in accordance with the CLA.


A verdict is expected within a relatively short period. Moreover, Wifol has requested the Court to render a specific court order prior to a decision on the merits. Wifol hopes that this court order will be render.


Approach of individual members of Wifol

WIFOL has noted that RR and SBRMC have approached the individual members of Wifol and have offered those members an employment agreement that is severely worse than what the members would be entitled to on basis of the "Pelican CLA".

Those deviations from the CLA will however become null and void if the new court case has a successful outcome for WIFOL. RR and SBRMC would in that case obliged to pay the difference to the members of Wifol.


Undermining the position of WIFOL members

The public should be aware that the members of WIFOL have informed the Board of WIFOL that a large number of undocumented workers have taken over the positions of the members at the resort. Some of those workers are working at the resort via employment agencies and by doing so are taking away the labor of the members of WIFOL. Those workers are working under conditions which are in violation of Local Laws, Kingdom Laws and ILO Convention No. 181.


Wifol regrets that, the immigration department nor the labor department have check those persistent rumors that some of the vacancies at the resort have not been filled in in accordance with the laws. As far as Wifol is aware of, none of these agencies have been scrutinized by the inspectorates neither.


Complaint against government of Sint Maarten at the International Labor Institution (ILO) in Geneva.

The attorneys of Wifol are drafting up a complaint against Sint Maarten at the ILO.


The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only ‘tripartite’ United Nations agency that brings together representatives of Governments, Employers and Workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating ‘real world’ knowledge about employment and work (


The reason for this complaint is that the government of Sint Maarten in the opinion of Wifol acts in conflict with certain ILO Conventions that the Kingdom of the Netherlands (and thus Sint Maarten) is bound by. More specific it concerns the ILO conventions 87, 98 and 154.


Those conventions concern the freedom of association and protection of the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining.


Wifol holds the opinion that the government of Sint Maarten has not fulfilled its obligations under these conventions by – among others – advocating the members of Wifol to bypass the union and to enter into individual employment agreements. Further, Wifol holds the opinion that government has not encouraged RR and SBRMC to enter into negotiations with Wifol, but to the contrary, lend its support to the way RR and SBRMC ignored the collective bargaining interests of the members of Wifol. A double role of a certain politician/ director will make more clear for ILO as well that the government of Sint Maarten has difficulty to fulfill its obligations under these conventions.


Wifol expects that this United Nations institution will closely scrutinize the acts of government in the light of the Conventions and will consider the complaint to be well founded.


For the Board of WIFOL


Theophilus Thompson