Opinion: Pavlov-reaction

POSTED: 11/7/13 1:57 PM

Opposing the dismissal of employees anywhere in the country is a Pavlov-reaction most political parties display. Remember the circus about the Pelican Resort that is now Simpson Bay Resort? The latest event in this area is the dismissal of thirteen employees at the embattled RBC Bank.

It is the same old song with parliamentarians wasting a meeting, time and energy on something that is not their business at all. The workers at the Pelican Resort lost their legal battle for one reason only: the legislation was not in place to protect them. Therefore the parliament is stuck with the responsibility for what happened to them. If parliament had been wide awake and made sure it has its house in order, it would have adapted the civil code in such a way that employees of a company that is sold to a new owner are protected.

All the drama in the parliament – directed at the resort’s management – was wasted energy and parliament was happy to repeat this useless exercise in a so-called effort to stand up for a small group of employees at the RBC Bank.

There is nothing wrong with sympathy for citizens who lose their job, but at least be honest about it and make clear that there is not a darn thing you can do about it from the perspective of your comfortable seat in parliament.

And by the way, the necessary amendment to the civil code that could have protected the Pelican-employees is still stuck in the super-slow system.

For the RBC-employees the ball is in the park of Labor Minister Cornelius de Weever. He will have to take a decision about a request for collective dismissal. We have it on good authority (we’re sure we’ll get a thank you note for this remark) that the best parliament could have done is ask the minister in a motion to see to it that the dismissal committee sticks to the rules and that it, if necessary, sets conditions for the permission to dismiss. Such a condition could for instance be a financial package for the dismissed employees.

That would have been the sensible thing to do. Making hollow statements in which parliament condemns the bank for its decision to dismiss the thirteen employees and inviting the bank to come and talk to parliament are two meaningless initiatives.

The bank may have economic reasons for the dismissal. It is not up to parliamentarians to decide whether they like this or not. Instead, parliament ought to work harder to create an economic environment that allows businesses, including banks, to flourish. This means that our legislators ought to provide flexible regulations that offer companies breathing space and the opportunity to grow, instead of strangling the economy with shortsighted and ill-advised rules that cripple the economy. If they had they made serious effort in these areas during the past three years, the thirteen RBC employees maybe would still have had their jobs.

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