I would like toexpress my views with some candour about our 150th anniversary of Emancipation on St Maarten.  Comrades, commemorative activities by government officials in both capitals for special holidays are honourable. But I have a serious problem with the claptrap (speeches) that they usually make on these special holidays. Governor Eugene Holiday and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams both referred to modern day slavery in their Emancipation Day address. Evidently, comrades, both of them are aware that people are still being abused and exploited in this country in this day and age. This is the same situaion that Kaiso Genius sang about back in 1977; he referred to it as modern day slavery too. I think that it is fair to ask ” What are the two officials in question doing about the current situation? Until I see corrective measures being taken to protect the working class, I will continue to speak out vehemently against the abuse within the labour industry. The Prime Minister’s theme was “How free are we?” But to talk about emancipation, while unregulated employment agencies run amok, is hypocrity; to talk about emancipation, while poor people are still catching their behinds to make ends meet is hypocrisy. I have noticed that anything (proposal or amendment) that would make life easier for the working class always gets tied up in some committee or advisory body. And that is very depressing. Former Lt. GOvernor of the Island Territory of St Maarten Franklin Richardson wwas ” darn right” when he stated \, “We ain’t going nowhere if people not involved in ountry.”

On June 25, I read in one of the newspapers that trade unionist DL has threatened to take government to court, if it fails to pay out the 2012 cost-of-living adjustment soon. Then on July 1st, the Governor and the Prime Minister spoke about the “yoke of modern-day slavery?”

Comrades, what a paradox! The 150th anniversary of Emancipation was a acomemorative travesty in my humble opinion. I have a quetion: Is it true that government is in complicity  with the ravenous emloyment agencies? No prevarication, please, we want the truth

Julien F. Petyy


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