The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) is again sounding its call for a severance fund to be established for the benefit of workers.
The Union’s top officials made the call on Monday, May 3, during the annual Labour Day celebrations.
General Secretary David Massiah says that an unemployment fund should also be put in place to assist workers during hardship –like they are experiencing now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chester Hughes, the Deputy General Secretary, says the Union has been proposing a severance fund to the Government for decades. However, the recommendation seems to have fallen on deaf ears, he says, and now workers are suffering because of the Government’s failure to act.
Hughes says the level of injustice being meted out to local workers is very high. And while they are suffering, the current Administration is boasting about the millions of dollars it has spent – but which have not been of much benefit, especially to displaced hotel workers, he adds.
What needs to be done, Hughes says, is the enactment of legislation that will protect workers’ rights.
Meanwhile, the Deputy General Secretary references several businesses that have closed their doors without having paid workers their severance and gratuities, up to this day.