As threats of job termination are being hurled at employees of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) by recently re-elected Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) is coming out in defence of the workers.
In a press release, the Union has condemned the attack on the staff of the APUA Water Department, whom Browne has accused of sabotaging the Government’s efforts to address the challenges of water distribution.
The ABWU expressed its disappointment in the accusations Browne made on radio last Saturday, January 21, and his threats to terminate the employment of several workers.
“These unfortunate statements come only a few days after the voters of this country issued a warning notice to the prime minister to ‘shape up or be removed from office,’” the Union notes.
The Union is also reminding PM Browne that some of these very workers whom he threatened would have voted for him in the last General Election.
Additionally, the Union says it is bewildered by the illogical reasoning of the Prime Minister in suggesting that APUA workers would deliberately bring hardship on their families, friends, and co-workers in communities across Antigua and Barbuda by suppressing the water supply.
In fact, the Union says, the employees, who form part of its membership, have worked tirelessly to ensure the distribution of water is accomplished within the scheduled times.
“However, the workers of the Water Department cannot deliver what is not there,” the Union points out in its release.
Therefore, the ABWU says, it condemns Browne’s attack on the employees of that department and urges the Prime Minister to “restrain his tongue,” particularly in the absence of verifiable evidence.
The Union says these attacks serve only to demoralize the efforts of the hard-working employees. It is therefore asking the workers to continue to perform above and beyond expectations and not be distracted by the Prime Minister’s idle threats and foolish rhetoric.