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Thread: Aruba Strike

  1. #121
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Entrance harbour blocked
    http://www.amigoe.com/english/ Last Update: Saturday, April 19, 2008
    A truck was parked right across the entrance of the container harbour, causing a complete traffic jam.

    ORANJESTAD – Harbour workers conducted solidarity actions on Friday, by blocking the entrance of the container harbour with a big container.

    Due to the actions that extended to the cruise terminal, some cruise passengers decided to spend the day on their ship, instead of going shopping or taking a tour of the island. A number of island tours were even cancelled. Cab drivers on the the cruise terminal were angry, because they have missed income.

    The blockade was removed around noon, but the tension increased in the course of the afternoon, when the harbour workers decided to walk out. They were concerned about rumours that harbour master Alfonso Boekhoudt was going to be dismissed and replaced by someone that enjoys the government’s confidence more. Those rumours are so far not confirmed. The workers, led by union leader Anselmo Pontilius, walked to the office of Transport-minister Briesen, but there was no encounter with him.

  2. #122
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Deliberation on indexation failed again
    http://www.amigoe.com/english/ Last Update: Saturday, April 19, 2008

    ORANJESTAD – The unions of public employees and the government started on the next round of negotiations in the Government Office on Friday afternoon around 14:30. Representatives of the private sector – including Atia, Chamber of Commerce, and Ahata – deliberated with the government around noon. The outcome of that deliberation was that the government will have a short meeting with the unions later that day.

    To enforce their actions, the strikers blocked L.G. Smith Boulevard again around 15:30, but this blockade didn’t last long, less than an hour. Before that, the demonstrators were optimistic and hoped that this round of negotiations would lead to the long-expected solution. But it didn’t happen. According to union representatives, Premier Nelson Oduber (MEP) had indicated that he doesn’t want to negotiate under pressure and left the meeting. Ministers Nilo Swaen (Finance and Economic Affairs) and Edison Briesen (Tourism and Transport) stayed behind, but also the union leaders left the meeting room. The strikers were so upset with this and that’s when they blocked the road again. They set one tire on fire. The actions were going to be continued today.

    ATIA, Chamber of Commerce, and Ahata had a meeting with the unions today, and they hoped that the government would join them.

  3. #123
    Senior Member kam175's Avatar
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    Arubalisa
    Thanks For The Update Everyday, We Are So Ready For Our Trip, We Leave In 3 Weeks

  4. #124
    Senior Member dividiviprincess's Avatar
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    Yes, thank you Arubalisa
    These updates are very helpfull. Our whole family leaves for Aruba on Tuesday 2 weeks from now. We have been looking forward to this vacation all year. Hopeing for this to be resolved by then. This strike worries us, but we are hopeing for the best when we are there. Thanks

  5. #125
    Aruba since 1979
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    We head to aruba on wednesday.
    I am anticipating a very nerve wracking next 36 hrs.

    andrea

  6. #126
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    I really wouldn't worry too much, I have been here since Saturday (everything went smooth, although Econo didn't have my rental cleaned) and I have not encountered any problems since (except for my shower overflowing yesterday.)

    Seriously, I have spoken to some locals and they told me that the protesters are choosing different spots to demonstrate during different days. somedays it might be downtown, other days they were if front of hotels etc... One salesgirl mentioned that the merchandise is not getting to the stores since customs is involved in the strike. If you know your way around the island you could find your way around protesters.

    I went to the new mall by the high-rise hotels on Saturday and downtown today around 4:00p.m. on Monday and did not have any problems at all. In fact not to make a joke, but this is the first time I ever went into Gucci where there wasn't a crowd (they even had my size.)

    My sources also said that the strikers are only demonstrating on weekdays.

    The only thing I am wondering about is if the Post Office is being affected. I am going to look into this tomorrow, since I do like to ship things home.

    Kteacher

  7. #127
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Unions talk with governor
    Last Update: Monday, April 21, 2008
    http://www.amigoe.com/english/

    The entrance of the Government Building was seriously damaged by fireworks this weekend.

    ORANJESTAD – The demonstrating union members that gathered at DOW at the L.G. Smith Boulevard this morning, have blocked the entrance of the container harbour again. The blockade was lifted when the lawyer of Aruba Ports Authority gave the demonstrators a letter, pointing out the illegality of the blockade. The unions now hope that governor Fredis Refunjol will mediate in the long-term labour dispute. The governor has met with the unions this afternoon.

    After lifting the blockade, the demonstrators gathered at DOW again to consider further actions. One of the actions would be blocking the turbo-roundabout on the Boulevard near Belgiestraat. This didn’t take place when this paper went to press this morning. Traffic was normal.

    There was a meeting in the Simar building on Sunday afternoon and the demonstrators decided to continue with the actions, but with a smaller number of members, compared to last week. A number of teachers indicated that they want to resume the classes for the students that need to take exams. Vice-chair of Simar Anna Tromp said that she can understand that. Several other teachers also indicated that they want to go back and prepare their students for their First Holy Communion. All the teachers of Colegio Arubano were back in school today teaching.

    MEDIATION
    After Friday’s negotiations between the government and the unions failed, the unions now hope that the governor can motivate the government to negotiate seriously with the demonstrators. The governor is back on the island namely. There was a meeting planned between the governor and the unions for this afternoon. That meeting cannot be considered an attempt of the governor to mediate, because that does not harmonize with this ‘pure domestic concern’, emphasizes the Cabinet of the Governor.

    “The strikes are no kingdom affairs and the governor cannot function as mediator”, said director Harold Boersen. He indicated that the governor is talking to everybody and behind the scenes is doing his best to help end this conflict. “That suits his function. As far as national government affairs, the governor is part of the government, but definitely not the ‘boss’ of the government.” This is the second time that the governor is talking with the parties behind the scenes to bring about a dialogue.

    The unions deliberated intensively yesterday and today about coming to mutual conditions. The unions realize that the actions form a dilemma between their members’ responsibilities towards the students and the ‘legal fight for indexation’, says Tromp. The unions are also talking about deliberating with the school boards and make sure that the climate between the teaching personnel among each other, as well as between the teachers and the school board is good when the members go back to work. The unions are preparing this deliberation with the school boards.

    Tromp says that the readiness to take actions is still big but that the members are assuming their responsibilities. The only action that can be taken with less demonstrators is the blockage of roads, and since there were not that many demonstrators available today, a blockage action spoke for itself. Tromp does not rule out that the actions will be hardened. She says that part of the members are radicalizing, because it has already been taken so long before there is a result. They do not want hear of any deviation from the war of attrition that the government seems to be waging with us.

    DESTRUCTIONS
    Several destructions were noticed at the Government Building this past weekend. The entrance to the council minister hall was damaged by fireworks; the building was bombarded with bottles and rotten fruit; and the transformer kiosk behind the building was damaged. Party in office MERP said that these destructions were done by demonstrating civil servants. The party spokesperson indicated further that the actions are harming the economy of Aruba. The MEP condemns especially the blockades and the party says that the leaders of the opposition parties have incited the demonstrators to do this.

    Tromp says that there is proof that the destructions were done by the union members. It’s true that the members are angry and disappointed. But it can also have been the result of weekend-vandalism due to excessive alcohol use. We can also not rule out that the destructions were done by rioters that have nothing to do with the actions, but have used this intolerable method to show that they back our viewpoint, says Tromp.

  8. #128
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    THANKS Arubalisa. Your help efforts are hugely appreciated!!!!! Thanks again!!! Sorry to say it is over bad stuff!!!!!

    But all news is good!!!

  9. #129
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Just returned last night and wanted to let everyone know that we did not see or hear any evidence of a strike at all. We arrived last Tuesday (4/15) and had no problems at the airport - landed at 2:15 pm and arrived at the Hyatt by 3:30. Yesterday we made it through all the checkpoints so quickly that we ended up waiting by the gate for about 2 hours.( Arrived at the airport about 2 1/2 hours early). The flight arriving from Newark was late so we were delayed - but it sounded as if it was delayed from the Newark end.
    katherine




    Trip #14 in

  10. #130
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    Just returned tonight. There was a strike going on in which downtown was blocked off from about 1:30pm until ? Our cab driver had to turn around and go a different route. I was happy that we left enough time to allow for the longer cab ride(took an extra 15 or so minutes). Everything worked out fine, but leave yourself about 3 hours from the time you leave your hotel to get to airport just in case.
    Our trip was great and I hope you enjoy if you are going soon

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