Published On: Thu, Jul 6th, 2023

Second MP sounds the alarm about situation at the airport

PHILIPSBURG – Independent MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten has expressed her concerns about “ongoing issues” at the airport in a letter to Minister Arthur Lambriex (Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunication). In June, UP-MP Rolando Brison stated in a press release that he finds the complaints from airport employees “disheartening.”

Airport CEO Brian Mingo did not react to our request for comment on Brison’s allegations. ‘Since the tenure of the current CEO at the airport started our national airport has experienced a number of serious and persistent problems,” MP Heyliger-Marten stated in a press release.

For example, she mentions cost overruns in the reconstruction of the airport terminal, frequent changes of Chief Financial Officers, conflicts between the staff and the CEO, and “dissatisfied employees, some of which have resigned due to the highly toxic working environment.”

As the most important issue, the MP mentions “questionable terminations of long-standing employees and allegations of personal victimization by the CEO.”

“It is clear that he (the CEO) has created and fostered a very toxic working environment,” Heyliger-Marten’s press release states. “He demoralizes, victimizes, and terminates employees who do not see things his way. This is unacceptable and needs to end.”

The letter MP Heyliger-Marten sent to Minister Lambriex contains thirteen questions about issues like the number of resignations since the beginning of Mingo’s tenure, the status of his service agreement, alleged conflicts of interest from a member of the supervisory board of the airport holding and the recruitment processes of the Chief Financial Officers and the recently appointed Chief Operating Officer.

The MP wants to receive the answers as soon as possible. “Parliament cannot allow one person to jeopardize the livelihood of dozens of employees by victimizing them.”

MP Brison expressed similar concerns in a press release issued in June: “Employees feel victimized and that their jobs are always at risk if they do not bow to the powers that be.”

Brison presented a motion to parliament that asked the government to investigate the grievances of airport employees and to prepare actions to be taken by the airport-holding and the operating board to remedy the situation.

Brison’s press release referred to the court’s ruling supporting the dismissal of the airport’s former Chief Operating Officer. “We must respect the role of the judiciary, but we must also fight against injustice wherever it is discovered.”

MP Brison lit the fire under potentially disgruntled airport employees by pointing out that “they can seek assistance to cover the costs of legal representation from the government.”