The trade union federation C-47 wants to maintain or reverse the increased energy rates of the Energiebedrijven Suriname (EBS) within two weeks. In a letter to President Chan Santokhi, Chairman Robby Berenstein asked that the earlier agreement on a more cost-efficient energy tariff be respected. When the two-week ultimatum has expired, no action of any kind will be excluded. The hope is therefore expressed to meet the stated requirement.
Three decisions of the Labor Assembly were communicated to the government in a letter dated 5 August. Following that letter, a meeting was held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Ramdin for International Business and International Cooperation. A rationale for the decisions has been provided. “The most important decision is the rollback of energy tariffs, the first 15% increase of which has already come into effect and the second 10% increase will take effect on September 1, stresses Berenstein.
“Lord President, we would like to remind you that it has been agreed with the social partners to first implement the Ernst and Young report, which includes the process of establishing a cost-efficient tariff, and then to arrive at a possible adjustment of the energy rates. What we notice is that this agreement has been abandoned without providing feedback with the aforementioned partners. It was also stated during the presentation by Mr K. Eckhorst that a more efficient calculation of the energy rates is also a recommendation of the Inter Monetary Fund, the IMF,” the letter reads.
“Excellence, we assume that you know better than anyone how the social conditions of most of Surinamese society have deteriorated. The exchange rate has literally run amok and the prices of goods are rising daily. Increase again, because it is simply passed on in prices by commerce. As an organization that stands at the heart of society and also stands up for the interests of the working class, C-47 has no choice but to opt for the workers,” said the union leader.