WILLEMSTAD, Curacao ( Friday, June 15, 2012) AMIGOE — The delegation of the civil servant union Abvo walked out of the meeting with Minister of Justice Elmer ‘Kadè’ Wilsoe (PS) on the coastguard strike ON Wednesday morning. Wilsoe also appeared to have invited STrAF union and that wasn’t the idea, according to Asmara Thodé from the Abvo.
The 36 coastguard employees who are holding a protest action now are members of the Abvo. Many coastguard members switched from STrAF to the Abvo. It was the Abvo who had held the most recent conversations with Wilsoe, in March and May, on the bottlenecks within the coastguard. Thirty-five coastguard employees on Curaçao and seven on Bonaire decided to go on strike because nothing was done about the agreements and solutions. The bottlenecks regard the contract of five years, the uncertainty after the contract expires, but also correct payment by the government and patrol flights with civilian personnel on board.
Wilsoe had invited Asmara Thodé yesterday for a meeting in his office this morning – in the presence of the coastguard management, including brigadier general Dick Swijgman. Thodé was very surprised when a delegation from STrAF entered the minister’s office. That was certainly not the intention at all, she said.
According to Thodé, the minister replied that he decides who is invited to his office. Thodé subsequently endorsed this but decided not to attend the meeting. “When you’re ready with STrAF, the Abvo will be waiting.” Apparently Wilsoe had said rudely, ‘continue the protest action’.
The Abvo-delegation and the coastguard employees who has assembled in front of the Ministry of Justice at Wilhelminaplein, then decided to complain to Premier Gerrit Schotte (MFK). The latter had a brief talk with them and requested them to send him the necessary documents on the coastguard. Schotte also promised to have a talk with the Minister of Justice. The coastguard personnel returned to the Abvo-building to discuss the continuance of the protest action, following the words spoken by the premier.