By Harald Linkels
Kralendijk- The umbrella organization of trade unions on Bonaire (Usibo) yesterday celebrated Labor Day with a gathering at Eddy’s restaurant. The organization also presented their 2017 annual report.
Usibo-president Charles Mercelina, from the NAPB-BES Police Union, looked back both on the past year and ahead of what the umbrella organization still plans for the year 2018. Mercelina said she was happy that the trade unions on the island had finally succeeded to come together, because by now it was proven that together more can be achieved.
“As Usibo we are seen by both the local and the Dutch government as a factor that has to be taken into account”, said Mercelina, who stated that unity leads to more bargaining power.
About the current year, Usibo wants to continue its efforts to combat poverty on the island. The union leadership also wants to continue its efforts to adjust the minimum wage on the island. In addition, Usibo wants a general pension scheme to be applied, which also applies to those who are not affiliated to PCN. Furthermore Mercelina says that the organization wants to commit to more affordable housing on the island.
Mercelina also used the opportunity to express a word of appreciation to the Bonaire Business and Employers Association (BBE). “The BBE is already present for the third consecutive year at the celebration of the Labor Day,” Mercelina said. According to Mercelina, it is logical that every organization should first and foremost work in the interests of its own members, but also to work together with others on things that need to improve for the population or to fight injustice.