Published On: Mon, Jan 6th, 2014

Aqualectra’s future in the hands of unions

AqualectraWILLEMSTAD - If utility company Aqualectra and the unions fail to reach an agreement on a new collective agreement (CAO) then the rates have to be increased considerably. Otherwise, the company goes bankrupt.

"We talk about rates from 90 cents to 1 guilder per kilowatt / hour," says the director of Aqualectra, Mr. Darick Jonis.

Aqualectra has terminated the CAO per January 1. Negotiations for a new collective agreement ended extremely stiff. Especially since the board is forced to reduce personnel costs.

“The local oil company, Curoil was very patient in the past and allowed Aqualectra to build a debt. We have now reached a payment agreement with the oil company. But if we can’t pay the salaries in the future, what will happen then?”

Jonis says he wants to resume the negotiations as soon as possible with the unions to reach an agreement. “If this fails, the rates will go up, otherwise the company goes bankrupt.”

The figures published by the utility company were shown to the personnel last year November. The media reported on November 29, 2013 about the expected loss of more than 14 million guilders in that year. The accumulated deficit is thus over 448 million guilders. The expected loss is less than in 2012.  Aqualectra suffered then a loss of more than 38 million guilders.

Over the past three years, the utility company has been in the red numbers, with a record loss of 75 million guilders in 2011. In 2009 the company made a profit of 22 million guilders.

In recent years the personnel costs rose steadily. In 2005 Aqualectra spent 74 million guilders on personnel costs. In 2013, this figure had risen to 126 million guilders.

Around 19 percent of the income of Aqualectra is used to cover personnel costs.

The CAO is very important for the reducing the losses for the company.

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