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Friday, 8 February 2013 08:39

KRALENDIJK — The employees of Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) stopped work yesterday afternoon. They are concerned about the manner of the Board of Commissioners of TCB. The Board of Commissioners supposedly obstructs them and the new director, Ethsel Pieternella, in the exercise of their duty.Supported by union Abvo, the personnel first met with deputy of Tourism, Burney el Hage, at the Administrative Office and later on with the director of Bonaire Holding Company (BHM), John Soliana. In the meeting with the deputy they expressed their discontentment on the Board of Commissioners obstructing the new director in the exercise of his duty and consequently also that of the employees. There is little respect for the new director.


The deputy requested the union to put the complaint in writing so that it could be discussed with BHM.

BHM is the sole shareholder of TCB. El Hage mentioned that the Board of Governors doesn’t back the current situation.

In the meeting with BHM, Soliana was told the commissioners are to observe the articles of association of TCB. According to the employees this is not the case. The director of BHM promised to convene a meeting with the commissioners on this subject.

Following the dismissal of the then director, the Board of Commissioners was entrusted with the management of TCB temporarily. Now that a new director has been appointed the Board of Commissioners is to step back and leave the management up to the new director, said chairman of Abvo-Bonaire, Marcelo ‘Chaly’ Anthony.

According to the union, it seems as if the Board of Commissioners wishes to display its power, but as laid down by statute, the Board has a supervisory task. Abvo demands clarity in this matter. Moreover, commercial interests play a role in this matter, said Anthony. He urges the Board of Commissioners to give the employees room to exercise their duty and to prevent the problems from escalating. This is not the first time that the role of the Board of Commissioners or its members is brought up. According to Anthony, it now seems as if there are six directors.

The Board of Commissioners of TCB consists of Johanna Romeiders, chairwoman; Martien van der Valk, vice-chairman; and the members Larry Gerharts, Huub de Groot and Claire Sealy.

Ethsel Pieternella was appointed director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TCB at the beginning of this year. Pieternella is originally from Curaçao but had lived in the Netherlands until December 2012. He was the chairman of Institution MAAS Rotterdam and as business consultant with Institution Intent in The Hague he advised several companies in the tourism sector. He also lectured marketing and economy at the Mondriaan College Nederland and was marketing expert at the Rabobank Group.