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Published On: Thu, Jun 18th, 2020

Labor unions and airport management come to a compromise

Airport workers in meeting with Airport CEO

AIRPORT—The WICSU and the ABVO unions representing the workers at the Princess Juliana International Airport have finally come to a compromise with the management of the airport on the cost-cutting measures for the workers. According to the Chief Executive Officer Brian Mingo, the meeting was cordial.

During a general meeting to explain the way forward for the airport, several topics were discussed, including the proposal on the cost-cutting measures with the staff on Wednesday.

Mingo pointed out that the government of St. Maarten had issued a 12,5 percent cost-cutting measure for all workers across the board. However, Windward Islands Airways made a 25 percent cut, and the airport was looking at about cutting 20 percent of their salaries. He explained that one of the reasons for the cost-cutting measure was that the airport is not bringing in any revenues.

Mingo stressed that they as management were looking at guaranteeing workers’ salaries until the end of the year or early next year. As a result, they are looking at securing funds for this. He indicated that there are monies owed to the employees. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed them in “a very fragile situation.”

“The package that we are proposing is one where employees are guaranteed their salaries and job security,” Mingo stated. He mentioned that during the meeting, some of the employees kept going out and coming in, which he felt was a move to get the politicians’ attention.

Mingo noted that the meeting was sometimes emotional and often “out of line.” Although several of the employees were happy with the job security, he said, “they are not pleased because the airport owes them.”

Mingo further explained that apparently, people forget that the airport has not recovered as yet from the storms of 2017, and now the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the aviation industry worldwide.

Mingo concluded that, under the present circumstances, there is a need to compromise. He noted that if all work hard, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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