Mrs. Helma Etnel, Chief Financial Officer of Telem Group, lied to the Parliament of St. Maarten when answering questions regarding why the Help Desk of Telem is in Curacao and why it cannot be here.
During the Central Committee meeting 19 on Wednesday February 10th, 2016, the Parliament of Sint Maarten was informed by Mrs. Etnel that there is a help desk in house at Telem for more difficult cases and the reason why the Help Desk is in Curacao, is not because they don’t want to, but because they cannot get anybody locally and that there was no interest during the downsizing.
The truth of the matter is that Telem does not have an internal help desk, and Telem does not want to get anybody locally either. The SMCU can guarantee there are people in St. Maarten willing to do it.
Telem had its own help desk until the management of Telem decided to outsource the department without informing the union until the year 2008. When the union looked into the matter, it was discovered that management had already outsourced the department to the Help Desk to a company in Curacao. The union went to management and informed them that they could not outsource a department without notifying the union. The Union also asked management as to what would happen to the employees that were already working in St. Maarten. Management’s response was that the department was not bringing in any monies and that during the restructuring; the department was going to be outsourced to make Telem leaner this was in the year 2008 and Telem restructure in the year 2012.
Despite the SMCU’s many efforts to place the 3 employees of that department in another department within Telem and not send them home, management stuck to their decision and still sent them home.
The SMCU together with the 3 former employees took Telem to court and won the case. Management never asked these employees whom Telem had considered redundant to submit a bid for this job, because management had already signed a contract with the company in Curacao, and the 3 former employees salaries were not even close to the amount mention by Mrs. Etnel in the parliament meeting.
Whenever the union questions management about the numerous complains about the Curacao help desk, and why nobody in St. Maarten can get the job. Management’s answer is that the money is not that great of a deal. However, they always refuse to provide the amount paid to the Curacao company because they say that it does not concern the union.
The union is confident that if Telem Management open a bid on St. Maarten that companies will show interest in doing this help desk job.