Minister Lake meets with GEBE Shareholders; Minister assured that GEBE jobs secured

PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: Minister Hon. Maurice Lake (2nd from left) meeting with GEBE Shareholder Foundation representatives. Also in the photo are members of the Minister’s Cabinet. DCOMM Photo

Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake met with representatives of the GEBE Shareholders Foundation on Wednesday to get an update on the current status of share transfers to the three islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten.


"My main concern was job security for the employees of GEBE Sint Maarten. I have been assured that there wouldn’t be any consequences for the GEBE workers as a result of this share transfer. I also discussed personnel issues as well during our deliberations, and all benefits and rights accumulated over the years remain as they are.

"I would call on GEBE management to give a presentation to their employees to bring them up to speed on current developments. Communication is essential in such a process in order to ensure that everybody has the right information, the factual information rather than hearing things through the grapevine which then creates unnecessary stress for the employees.

"I will be following this process very closely to make sure things go smoothly and I am confident that this process can be done within the shortest period possible and in a professional manner to the benefit of all parties," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.

Sint Maarten initiated the process to separate GEBE into three companies back in 2011 under former Minister of VROMI Theo Heyliger.

The representative of the Government of St. Eustatius has already received instructions to execute the share transfer. Saba still has to give instructions up to Wednesday last when the Minister was appraised about the current state of affairs.

Saba has already ratified the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the transfer while Sint Maarten is picking back up the process by sending the request to transfer shares through the proper channels.

"After the United People’s party led Government left office in May 2012, the process on the end of the Sint Maarten Government seemingly but unfortunate came to a standstill, and I am happy now that we can see this process through where Sint Maarten becomes the 100 per cent owner of its public utility company," Minister Maurice Lake said on Sunday.

The Parliament of Sint Maarten still has to be informed about the transfer of shares.

"Bringing relief is still on the agenda and I will take up the ball on this effort and look into lowering electricity tariffs for the people and business community of Sint Maarten. Bringing relief is one of the major priorities of this Government," Minister Lake concluded.