Richard Arends appointed labor disputes mediator

KRALENDIJK – Richard Arends has been appointed as the new mediator for labor disputes in Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, reports the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). He will start on July 1, 2024, succeeding Anselmo Pontilius, who has held the position since 2014.

The role of the mediator is crucial for promoting a harmonious labor climate in the Caribbean Netherlands. Arends will help resolve conflicts within companies to prevent strikes. Additionally, he will contribute to the establishment of collective labor agreements and can organize referenda upon request to determine which union will represent the employees. Upon request from the Ministry of SZW, he can also advise on labor policy issues. The mediator does not handle individual cases.

Arends’ appointment is the result of a selection process involving the Ministry of SZW and representatives of employers’ and employees’ organizations. Arends was chosen for his legal background and extensive experience in labor relations. He is regarded as an excellent bridge builder.

Before officially starting on July 1, 2024, Arends will undertake an introductory tour. Employers, employees, and unions can reach the mediator through the RCN-unit SZW, Labor Affairs department: or by phone at 715 8888 or 795 5107.

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