Too Much Uncertainty For The Workers Of Telem N.V.

The OSPP is of the opinion that over the years we have seen to many of our workers bite the dust because of poor negotiation and the lack of leadership in mergers and the sale of companies in particular in the private sector. One such case is the Pelican saga, that was led by a sitting member of parliament of St. Maarten and to date many of the workers of that company are still suffering. “Companies are closed down and it seems as if the workers are always the one receiving the worst end of the stick” says Lenny Priest Political Leader of the OSPP. Time and time again the workers suffer and we vouched never to allow this to happen to our people as long as we can prevent it.


Recently there has been much talk in the media regarding the possible merger of Telem N.V. and UTS. It was also stated that a letter of intent was signed between Telem N.V. and UTS. The St. Maarten Communication Union has indicated their displeasure in terms of how things were going with this merger and that they felt that as a union they were kept in the dark. Many unanswered questions remain and neither the Supervisory Board of Telem NV nor management have been coming forth with answers to the many questions and uncertainties that exist in this possible merger, leaving the workers feeling that once again they are going to be the ones left holding the wrong end of the stick.

In order to avoid the workers being victimized the OSPP has forwarded a letter to the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams, Shareholder Representative of Telem N.V. asking her to shed some light on this letter of intent of a possible merger between Telem N.V. and UTS. We have also asked her to provide the general public with the amount of companies that had shown interest in merging with Telem N.V. a company that is 100% owned by the people of St. Maarten. It is also important to know why our honorable prime minister believes that a merger is necessary. What were the procedures used to select UTS as a partner and if she is aware that according to media reports UTS was in the process of laying off workers in Curacao? The OSPP believes that the Prime Minister should also indicate who the members of the negotiation team are and how were they selected? How much experience do these members have in negotiating mergers with communication companies?

The OSPP has also questioned the Prime Minister about a report that the St. Maarten government is negotiating to acquire its’ 12% of the shares in UTS by taking over the UTS Eastern Caribbean. Who are the members of the St. Maarten team negotiating to acquire the shares of UTS and if St. Maarten has a member on the Supervisory Board of UTS?

“It is very ironic, according to Lenny Priest, political leader of the OSPP that an issue like this with so much uncertainties that could affect the lively hood of the workers of Telem N.V. and none of the members of parliament have seen it fitting to call the Prime Minister to parliament in order for her to explain to the people of St. Maarten and the workers of Telem N.V. in particular what is happening at Telem N.V. and a possible merge with UTS. The OSPP is demanding that members of parliament call the Prime Minister to parliament for her to explain what is taking place right now within Telem N.V. and a possible merge with UTS and to acquire information regarding the shares that St. Maarten owns in UTS. Anything less than that would be an indication that parliament has no interest in the workers of Telem N.V. We can then conclude that Pelican, RBC and other workers are still suffering because of the lack of leadership within the government and the parliament of St. Maarten. A change must come and it must come now.