Published On: Wed, Sep 14th, 2016

Unions reject offer contractors association AAV

errol-covaWILLEMSTAD – The union representing the contract workers of the oil refinery SGTK and the contractors’ association AAV have agreed on a two-year collective labor agreement with an annual pay raise of six and three percent.

However, the union also demands a one-time bonus of 3,000 guilders per person to compensate for the lack of a new collective agreement in 2015 and 2016, while the employers can only give 500 guilders.

The difference amounts to about 1.5 million guilders that would have to come from somewhere. The refinery leased to “Petroleos de Venezuela” PdVSA is unable to help, while Government cannot take funds from its energy sector companies to pay the workers as suggested.

Prime Minister of Curaçao, Dr. Bernhard Whiteman declared last week that they could not find a legal way to help the strikers with the money needed. The contractors are private businesses and the Government cannot take public funds to pay their employees.

The local unions have now asked all their members to lay down their work on Thursday morning, which could practically paralyze the island. If and how they also will take to streets was not immediately clear.

Action committee spokesman Errol Cova visited Governor Lucille George-Wout on behalf of 18 unions to object to the draft national ordinance regulating Government-related bodies they say treads on internationally recognized rights of worker representation and free negotiations, asking her not to sign it. She had not yet received the law proposal that would require scrutiny by the Council of Advice.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has also been informed.

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