Minister Lee focuses on increased labor compliance

POSTED: 05/9/16 12:05 PM

St. Maarten News – “In recognizing the progress that has been made in the field of labor over the years, we need to acknowledge that the creation of meaningful, stable and sustainable employment can only be achieved in partnership,” said Minister Emil Lee (Labor) at the Labor Day celebrations at the Divi Little Bay Resort last Monday.

Lee addressed the three stalwarts in the labor movement who were honored for their dedicated service said that this partnership between business, labor and government can only be achieved on a basis of trust, honest dialogue and compromise. The labor tripartite has been functioning well and it is the absolute vehicle for this partnership.

The tripartite is working diligently towards consensus on the proposed changes to the civil code that would eventually address the abuse of the short term labor contracts. “They will come up with a win, win, win agreement, the minister said. “The labor unions see themselves as integral partners in creating sustainable, secure and rewarding jobs.”

“Unions leaders have recognized the link between the level of education and upward mobility in terms better earnings and career advancement,” said Lee. “With an economy that is demonstrating minimal growth, there is need to create higher paying jobs especially with the youth employment being so high.”

Unstable government and multiple changes in the leadership have a devastating impact on the tourism promotional efforts, he said. “The good is that the Tourism Authority is being put in place by Minister Arrindell with the funding for promotional activities.”

Improved compliance it is an important goal for the Tourism ministry, that is working with strategic partners like SZV to achieve this goal. “Increased compliance will translate into benefits for everyone; every job occupied by an undocumented worker is a lost opportunity for local employment.”

Lee pointed out that undocumented workers who are willing to accept lower wages, are putting immense downward pressure on salaries. “Government will continue with its gentle but steady efforts to improve compliance”

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