Wednesday, July 14, 2004

St. Maart: Where's a level playing field when you need one?

PHILIPSBURG--Several heavy equipment operators have secured the services of Brisco Legal Consulting to assist them in obtaining what they consider "a fair share" of work on the US $87 million airport expansion project.

This latest action by the operators was taken after they were offered what they described as "take it or starve" contracts by main contractor on the project Koop Europe Holding.

The contractors and their legal consultant Denicio Brison delivered a letter to government via the General Affairs Department Tuesday.

"My clients are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in securing a share of the (work) at the airport expansion project," said Brison in the letter, which was also forwarded to Koop.

His clients include Fortuno Enterprises, Shajel N.V., Raysil Construction and Remel Construction.

Brison argues that the law enables government to "grant certain permits to main contractors" with the condition that local contractors to be given "a certain portion of the work."

"Koop has offered them humiliating contracts on a take it or starve basis. Clearly this is unacceptable," Brison said in the letter.

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