The Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) was expected to hold discussions today, March 16, regarding the mandatory vaccination of workers.

Last week in Parliament, Labour Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin denied rumours that the Administration would be implementing measures to make vaccination mandatory.

Instead, he indicated that Government is facilitating discussions between employers, their representatives, and unions in order to reach an amicable solution on the way forward.

Benjamin claimed his office had been bombarded with calls from business owners, wanting to know what could be done to ensure that employees are vaccinated in order to protect customers – and from the unions, inquiring about the rights of workers.

Joan Peters, President of the ABPSA, says her membership is very concerned about the situation, and she notes that the Association was not invited to be a part of the dialogue.

Peters says that, based on discussions with the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU), that body was also not invited to the discussions.  These are significant omissions, since the ABPSA and the AT&LU are the two main bargaining agents for Government workers.  

Peters is calling for a more intensive education programme on the vaccination campaign to allay the fears of those who still have concerns over being inoculated.

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