The inhabitants of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius will finally get an established social minimum, humane and equivalent to European Netherlands. Effective January 1 and July 1, 2024, benefits and minimum wage will already be increased substantially. Thus, the government in The Hague announced.
With this fantastic result for the residents of the BES islands, the stakes and the goal of the lawsuit that Unkobon filed earlier has been achieved. The pressure of the publicity in the Netherlands surrounding the lawsuit, combined with the fall of the government, has led to an acceleration in political decision-making. In close consultation with attorney Channa Samkalden, Unkobon has now decided to suspend the lawsuit. The oral hearing on Nov. 23 at the Court in The Hague will not take place.
In accordance with the recommendations in the report of the Commission Social Minimum Dutch Caribbean (Commission Thodé), as of July 1, 2024 the minimum wage will be set at $1,750 per month and the social minimum at 85% thereof. In addition, a number of measures mentioned in the report must still be implemented in a timely manner. For example, it is essential that employers be adequately targeted to compensate for rising labor costs so that they can bear the costs and not bear the full brunt. And flanking measures recommended by the Thodé Committee, such as affordable public transportation, introduction of landlord subsidies and free child care, must also be developed quickly. This still creates uncertainty as to whether all the necessary measures will be introduced on time. Especially with a new cabinet taking over in 2024.Therefore, Unkobon is keeping pressure on the political kettle with a suspension. The union is not yet withdrawing the lawsuit.
Unkobon is very happy with the establishment of a social minimum and the measures announced, which after 13 years can finally increase the welfare level for everyone on the BES islands and effectively fight poverty. Many have (co-)worked for this result over the past years. We sincerely thank them for this!