(Oranjestad)—Yesterday Morning, the labor union ‘Sindicato di Trahadornan di Aruba’ (STA) held a press conference to inform the public that after a few years of delays, they have signed a labor contract (CAO) with the goal of creating labor peace to the employees at Tierra del Sol.
The process for signing this contract was one that took a long time to complete. The pandemic had been the first bump that caused a delay in this process, as this made the financial situation on Aruba difficult. However, there were happy to see that not one employee lost their job: “we had to tighten our resources, and Tierra del Sol did not have the financial support for the union’s requirements, which the workers were asking for,” Diego de Cuba, president of the union, expressed.
He also explained that they saw a recovery after the pandemic, but once they were ready to finally sign, they were met with another obstacle. They learned that the company was sold to a Spanish group, “but every cloud has a silver lining, the collective contract will be signed today. This is a well-balanced contract, and has most of the important ingredients for a good labor contract,” he assured.
This contract is valid for 3 years, so they can keep the peace in the years to come. What they managed to include in the contract is very good, “if we make a calculation with everything together, the conditions will improve for those workers with approximately 15%, which is an average of approximately 5% per year if we look at everything that will be improved. Their salary will increase, paid off days will improve, savings fund, end of year bonus and vacation money. So, if we take a look at everything together, this contract is indeed pretty good,” de Cuba pointed out.
As a union, they knew they could have applied more pressure on the company, but seeing as the company will be handed over to another owner, a big investment has to be made for the golf course. This area deteriorated over the years due to lack of a team and materials for maintenance.
“We have expressed our understanding about this to the new owners. However, we also expect them to understand that the workers have waited a very long time, and have even sacrificed to maintain whatever they could with what little they had. I have to say that thankfully the new owners were very empathetic, and we were able to sign with them,” de Cuba expressed.
They also hope there could be labor peace at Tierra del Sol in the coming years, and that they could eventually sign for something better for the workers, “because I think that the investors aren’t just millionaires, they’re billionaires. So, they are serious people, people that own hotels and that are going to create another one. They seem to have serious intentions in investing in this country. Let’s hope everything goes well.” De Cuba finalized.
New owner of Tierra del Sol
As it has been known since the beginning of the new year, Tierra del Sol was sold to a tourist company called Iberostar Group, which is a company that categorizes themselves as a leader in the world of tourism. They own more than 100 4/5-star hotels in 16 countries with about 5.6 million clients.
Iberostar Group is a Spanish family-owned company that has been specializing in the tourist sector for more than 60 years. Their origin starts in the shoe industry in 1877. After 1956, they entered in the tourist sector with the purchase of Viajes Iberia, and they started creating alliances with tour prestige tour companies in Europe, Merca of Canada.
In 1983, the trade name Iberostar was born, with 7 hotels in Mallorca, Spain.
In 2017, they launched a movement to protect the oceans called “Wave of Change”, with which they aim to contribute to the 14 goals of the SDGs in order to conserve and utilize oceans, beaches and marine resources in a sustainable way. It is for this reason that they take advantage of the potential that the tourist industry has to construct a rentable and responsible model for tourism in order to protect oceans and reduce climate change.