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Friday, November 30, 2012



CASTRIES, St.Lucia, Thursday November 29, 2012 - Disgruntled officials of the Trade Union Federation (TUF) stormed out of wage talks with Government Wednesday claiming they felt insulted at the administration’s zero response to their wage proposal for public sector workers for the 2010-2013 triennium.

TUF officials who placed a request for a 16 per cent increase spread over three years were stunned by the government’s proposed wage freeze over the three year period and immediate payment of EC$1000 Christmas bonus.

“At the meeting with the Government negotiating team we were offered a wage freeze. We were told to take zero for the first year, zero for the second year and zero for the third year and in lieu of that to accept a one-time payment of one thousand dollars.

We indicated to the government negotiation team that we consider the offer an insult, and therefore we were unable to continue any discussions with them,” Monrose said.

The TUF official said their request for a 16 percent increase would involve an increase of five per cent in the first year, five per cent in the second and six per cent in the third.

But he said based on the response of the Government’s negotiation team the unions will now be meeting separately with their members, cautioning that the government team should allow good sense to prevail at the soonest.

“The survival of this country is important to all of us, we all live here so we take everything into consideration. We feel just as responsible as anyone else to save this country when it needs saving, so we are not in a position to contemplate any form of industrial action at this time. The only immediate action we will embark on is to continue to consult our members and continue to talk to the government negotiating team in the hope that good sense will prevail,” he added.

The wage talks between Trade Union Federation and the government negotiators are several months overdue and were only able to get underway this week following the intervention of Prime Minister Kenny Anthony.

The Federation, which appeared to have been gearing up for some form of protest action over the delay, had issued an ultimatum to government requesting the commencement of negotiations by Thursday last week.

Monrose says he hopes to wrap up discussions on wages by December 12. (CMC)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A 64-year-old Belgian man is pulling the plug on his 19-year marriage after he found out his wife was born a man.

The man, named Jan, who married his Indonesian wife Monica in 1993 wants to have his marriage annulled after news broke that she had a sex change.

“I brought her to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they accepted it anyway. I thought she was an attractive woman, all woman. She had no male traits,” said Jan.

When it came to children, he and his wife had decided not to have children because he had two by his previous marriage. She even fooled him by pretending to menstruate, using sanitary towels.

“Even during sex, I never noticed anything,” he said.

But after many years the marriage started to come under strain when she got a new full-time job.

“My oldest son saw her sometimes at a nightclub. She began to wear very flashy clothes, those ultra-short skirts or tiny tops, so her abdomen was completely exposed,” he said.

Jan then found numerous messages from other men on her computer and confronted her.

“A friend told me that he had heard that Monica was actually a sex-changed man. I could not believe it. My son heard similar rumors,” he said.

Jan is undergoing psychiatric treatment following the discovery. He has also started legal proceedings to have the marriage annulled.


Friday, November 23, 2012


CASTRIES, St.Lucia, Friday November 23, 2012 - Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony has expressed his sorrow and regret at the tragic killing Colin Peter, a Canadian visitor Colin Peter, who was attacked and robbed while on a visit here.

Peter was in St. Lucia gathering information and documentation on his ancestor, William Peter, after whom the William Peter Boulevard, in down town Castries was named.

“The death of descendant of deceased William Peter is an extremely tragic one. I wish to express my sincerest condolences to his family and friends," Anthony said in a statement Thursday.

"This tragic event will not go unpunished.  I have already been in contact with the authorities here to ensure that everything we can do is being done to bring to justice the perpetrator of this crime," Anthony said.

The police reported that Peter, 75, was robbed and beaten while walking on the beach with his wife. They said Peter was hit on the back of the head with a piece of wood. His backpack, camera and wallet were stolen.

"We have a suspect which we are pursuing at this point in time, but the last update I had he was not apprehended as yet, but there is a suspect in mind. If the evidence adds up and he is connected to it, then he will be charged for murder in the first instance," said Commissioner of Police Vernon Francois.

"We are profoundly sorry for this. There is a great deal of sympathy both from the police department and the government of St.Lucia," he said.

Colin Peter’s son, Andrew, said his father was taken to the Victoria hospital in critical condition. Plans were being made to have him airlifted back to Canada, but he died Monday evening.

Andrew Peter said the family views this as a crime of opportunity and harbours no bad feelings about St.Lucia.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the incident, the Canadian Government has called on Canadians visiting St Lucia to exercise a “high degree of caution due to limited medical resources, generally poor road conditions, unreliable public transportation, and moderate crime rates”. (CMC)