Minister De Weever's Speech on the occasion of WICSU/PSU's 35th Anniversary

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - It is indeed an honor to stand here as the Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour to congratulate and acknowledge the Windward Islands Civil Servant Union/ Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) and its members on their 35th year Anniversary.

Today we celebrate the many struggles endured and accomplishments achieved since the official establishment of the WICSU on the 1st January, 1979. This establishment solidified the need for social dialogue, even amongst civil servants, advancing the standards & conditions of work, promoting equality, security, promotion and defense of their occupational interests.

By promoting open labour discussions it stimulates industrial peace, encourages foreign investments and has a positive impact on the labour productivity of a country. Proper social dialogue encompasses the existence of open communication, democratic representation, collective bargaining and peacefully reaching a consensus. It is the goal of any enterprise to acquire the highest level of productivity from its workers, which in some cases can only be achieved through unionization, fair agreements and proper social dialogue, all of which I endorse.

The formation of the Tripartite Committee, initiated by my Ministry, is a perfect example of efficient social dialogue. This body allows for healthy open discussions between Government, the worker's representatives and the employer's representatives. Today, with constant economic instability, it is extremely important to be able to sustain a balance between the wishes of workers and the expectations of employers.

WICSU/PSU is an active part of this tripartite body, in the person of your President Miss Derie Leonard. The expectation is that WICSU/PSU continues to support the Tripartite in this endeavor as the success of this body depends on the quality and consistency of all parties involved.

WICSU/PSU represents the wishes/concerns of civil servants of country Sint Maarten, civil servants on the BES Islands and workers of various prominent companies within the private sector. WICSU/PSU has and will always have an influential role in the local labour market. The influence of the union and the collaboration of all stakeholders, promotes an environment in which freedom of association, the ability to bargain openly and independently have become a fundamental part of our social fabric.
I once more congratulate you on this milestone of celebrating your 35th anniversary. May God bless you all.

I would like to specially acknowledge the efforts of the following WICSU presidents from 1981-present:
Mr. Edgar Lynch
Mr. Rafael Boasman
Mr. Pricio Mathilda
Mrs. Prudence Hodge
Miss Patricia Pantophlet
Mr. William Reed
Ms. Derie Leonard

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