The Summit at the Renaissance Convention center, better late than never

I am a day late and a dollar short, I was supposed to report on yesterday’s summit earlier, but such is life, and I have a life, as you know, I was running around doing actual work, for my own company, it felt like old times.

But I did watch the summit off and on, then some friends helped me make sense of it.

The MinPres set up a nice vibe. She explained and prodded, cheered and simplified, she talked about the island’s Yes, I can attitude, and encouraged her audience to get on the band wagon.

The MinFec destroyed some of the good vibe the MinPres created, BUT the public support of the MinPres online, was overwhelming.

The summit audience was a mixed bag of private sector and government entities.

As expected, KVK, AHATA, ATSA, AF&BA, ATIA, demonstrated steadfast support of the MinPres on the road for change. (The Chamber of Commerce, the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, The Aruba Timeshare Association, the Aruba Food & Beverage Association and the Aruba Trade and Industry Association.)

I cannot say the same about the unions. Most of them are starting to see the Dutch are trying to help. Besides, where would Aruba be if the Dutch didn’t have the willingness to spend millions of florins?

However, about one and a half unions, were ungrateful, backward thinking, and armed a with disrespectful attitude. Their false sense of entitlement is incredible. They have been working at a sweet pace, the money kept coming in, no wars, no hunger, no military dictatorship, no plague, nothing to teach them the extraordinary-blessing of a steady job, so they opt to wave a pseudo-nationalistic flag, and dig in their heels.

As you understand, this is an era of rapid disruption, economic transition, social evolution, generational shifts, whatever you may want to call it, it makes it IMPOSSIBLE for things to go on as before, and this is something that SIWA, and SEPPA, don’t quite grasp.

How is that possible? Even with complete bankruptcy, zero cash in bank, deep unemployment, social unrest, angry mobs, some current government employees continue in their belief that all will be well and things should stay basically the same. The want money, but not the help, and the change-affecting conditions attached.

(SEPPA, Sindicato di Empleadonan Publico y Priva di Aruba and SIWA, Sindicato Independiente W.E.B. Aruba.)

Imagine, the SIWA union representative, and mind you, these are the BEST paid employees in the market making many times more than your average AF&BA employee, stated that locals suffer from diabetes and overweight and therefore would not be able to work until the age of 67.

I nearly fell off my chair. It was so funny. Wouldn’t you say stop eating processed food, pastechi, sugar, snacks day and night. If the mature population would watch its diet, Obesity will be eliminated, Diabetes reversed, then they could go on working, forever.

If WEB employees stayed on their diets, the money saved will run in the hundred-millions.

(The bitter truth is the people who work in the primary sector of tourism are paid the least.  These are the tough jobs. Jan van Nes is a business owner who defends the private sector workers. Nobody else does. No unions. No politicians. Nobody. And these are the majority of workers in Aruba. The only ones paying the WEB and ELMAR bills and taxes which are then used to pay for the public sector’s high salaries and benefits. And these are the only ones who, up till now, lost their jobs.)

By the way, the above diet talk is also true for GOA. If it saved on rents paid for offices around the island, and was able to reduce interest fees, GOA could give up growth. It will save so much money that expansion will no longer be needed. The island would be better off with less people. We would not need diversification because we won’t piss away reserves. We’d be prudent, never wasteful, and rich.

I have a dream.

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July 16, 2020
Rona Coster