Curaçao government admits striking workers are right

This is a Dutch 1969 video. Violence by police and Dutch Royal Marines killed two workers and injured many more on 30 May 1969 when Shell refinery workers and their supporters demonstrated on Curaçao island in the Caribbean.

Translated from Dutch ANP news agency, an hour ago:

A general strike supported by all trade unions has major implications for public life on Curaçao. The strike started this Thursday. Schools are closed, many neighborhoods are without electricity and part of the shops have closed their doors.

The big strike stems from a long-running conflict between workers on the grounds of the Isla oil refinery and contractors for whom they work. Their disagreement caused a strike in early September already.

The workers demand a salary increase. Prime Minister Ben Whiteman calls the struggle of the workers’ legitimate and claims that they are working under difficult conditions for little money. He compared that to modern slavery. But the government says it can do nothing except mediate in negotiations between the contractors and the unions.

With the general strike the unions are putting pressure on those negotiations.

The general strike is not only in solidarity with the precarious workers at the Isla refinery, but also against policies of Mr Whiteman’s government which violate trade union rights.

In the background, there is, like in 1969, the danger of anti-striking worker violence by Dutch soldiers and police.

4 thoughts on “Curaçao government admits striking workers are right

  1. Pingback: Curaçao workers’ strike not illegal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Curaçao workers’ strike victory | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Curaçao school children learn about sharks | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Curaçao sharks and cattle | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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