EBS employees must get back to work


The judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the management team at the Energy Company Suriname (EBS) which means that the employees had to end their strike and get back to work. There have been growing tensions between the management team and the Ogem Workers’ Organization Suriname (OWOS).

The union issued a strike after management had fired Union Chairman Marciano Hellings over a picture that had allegedly been posted on social media by Marciano’s brother. The executives at the EBS claimed that confidential information of the company had been shared with the nation. The union officials and the employees went to the offices of the executives but when they did not get any response, they went to the Office of the President where the union presented a petition with several demands. They were visibly upset when the head of state did not meet with them face to face. The union made it clear that the strike would not end until all of the demands had been met. One of the demands is the reinstatement of Hellings and the resumption of the negotiations aimed at reaching a new collective labor agreement.

The management team at the EBS decided to take the union to court over the strike. The judge made it clear that the union would have to pay a fine if it failed to comply with the order to end the strike. The OWOS was also ordered to cover the expenses of management that were made with the lawsuit. The CEO at the EBS, Leo Brunswijk, on Tuesday explained that things had gotten out of hand because of the post on social media. “I have my own money to buy a car so I do not need the government’s money or money from the EBS to buy a Prado for me,” said Brunswijk in response to the comments on social media. Brunswijk made it clear that he expects somebody such as the union chairman who also works for the EBS to be aware of the fact that information of the company should not be shared. He pointed out that “they could have discussed this issue with management” but that “they chose to make a big fuss about it on social media.” “So they should not complain about it now,” said Brunswijk…[+]