Independent Member of Parliament Cornelius De Weever is defending the Counterpart Legislation, which is a law and not just a policy.
MP De Weever explained that the ministry used the law in one case. “The company took us to court and government lost because according to the judge we did not have a policy on how the law would be used so the labor policy department wrote the Counterpart policy in consultation with the Social Economic Council and the Tripartite Committee.
“One business owner of this tri-partite committee volunteered to have this Counterpart Policy applied in his company,” said MP De Weever. The implementation guidelines had to be drafted because I/We do not believe that the counterpart policy or guidelines can be used across the board and that every business would be immediately subjected to it.
MP De Weever further stated that government has used and is using the counterpart in the former prime minister stafbureau and the stafbureau of Ministry of Finance, which is reflected in Budget 2015.
“During my tenure as Chairman of the St. Maarten Medical Center managerial board we used the counterpart when we reserved and hired a local surgeon. So while the ‘leadership of the Democratic Party’ and their supporting interest group(s) have voiced their concerns, know that we have heard all, the reason(s) not to,” said MP De Weever.
MP De Weever further stated that as minister he has witnessed too much exploitation of workers while the ministry tried to increase compliance to our labor laws through the Inspectorate and the Labor Affairs office the same “DP leadership” and interest group(s) have been yelling for flexibilization of our labor laws because they want to be able to hire and fire as they please.
“I will not allow this to happen they have clearly deviated from the original principles of the founding fathers of the Democratic Party. Since we are in parliament I challenge anyone to bring a draft initiative law or an amendment to our current laws that takes away the rights of any worker.
This issue affects all of us, our family, our friends and the workers of this island. In December I made the call to bring our graduated and graduating students home to help build St. Maarten, I encouraged government, government owned companies and the private sector to attend Flinx Recruitment Expo Dutch Caribbean (FRED) in the Netherlands in June to recruit our interns and graduates. I believe in giving our people a fair chance and I believe in our people applying themselves to their jobs and careers.