Dutch soldiers against striking Curaçao workers today?

This is a Dutch video on 30 May 1969 on Curaçao island in the Caribbean. Thousands of striking Shell oil refinery workers and their supporters demonstrated then. Police and Dutch Royal Marines attacked them. Two workers were killed; many were injured.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Curaçao asks the Netherlands for military assistance in strike

Today, 07:23

The government of Curaçao has asked the Dutch Royal Navy to provide “hard-line support” if necessary. The island is in the highest state of readiness now that the trade unions have announced a general strike. Twenty-three unions have called on their members not to go to work.

The Dutch ‘Defense’ department says they will only do something if the government requests it. The Army operates under the authority of the local police. Defense can deploy ninety men of army personnel and sixteen members of the Curaçao militia.

No collective agreement

The unrest in Curaçao started three weeks ago when precarious workers working on the property of the Isla refinery through local contractors, laid down work. They want more money because they have had no collective agreement for three years.

Last week, strikers had a confrontation with police. …

Prime Minister Whiteman called last night on national television for calm. In addition, he pointed to the meeting and demonstration ban imposed on the island for groups of more than four people. That ban was imposed when the unrest broke out early this month. Initially, it was for a week, but it was extended.

Curaçao daily Amigoe of 14 September 2016 reports that the local trade unionists have called for a general strike not only because of solidarity with the refinery precarious workers. Also against a new law, Landsverordening Overheidsgelieerde Entiteiten, which violates trade union rights. And (translated):

Also the various ministerial decisions by Justice Minister Nelson Navarro (Pais political party) introduced recently, according to him, to avoid the disruption of public order, are named by the unions as a reason for the general strike tomorrow. These measures include a ban on assembly for groups of four or more people, near or on roads. The unions say these measures go too far and that they violate workers’ rights to have actions. The local unions have sent a letter to the International Labour Organisation ILO to protest in this case against the conduct of the government. The unions point out that the law violates the fundamental right to mobilize.

See also here.

Translated from Curaçao daily Antilliaans Dagblad, 14 September 2016:

Marbella Felipa, spokesperson of the non affiliated unions BTG, STSK and Seu said at the press conference that the working class is the backbone of society. “It is unacceptable that in society capital is more important than the welfare of the citizens. The workers experience every day that they don’t have equality since they have less rights than others”, said the spokesperson. According to Felipa there now has been reached a point of “this far and not any further.”

Britain: ZERO-HOURS homecare workers are taking the largest ever minimum wage case to court, their union announced yesterday. Public-sector union Unison says some workers are paid as little as £3.85 an hour due to bosses’ refusal to pay for their travel time between visits: here.

8 thoughts on “Dutch soldiers against striking Curaçao workers today?

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