Workers’ Union and Rotaract team up successfully to educate young people on their fundamental workplace rights

A collaborative effort between a local union and a service organisation – designed to educate young workers on their rights – has been deemed a success.

Dozens of young people representing various civic organizations are reportedly now better equipped to navigate the world of work after a recent training presentation put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) Youth Arm.

The session was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Antigua and was aimed at enlightening young persons about their fundamental rights in the workplace.

Jennell Willette, professional service director at Rotaract Antigua, says the training was critical, particularly for young individuals making their first entry into the world of work.

According to Willette, young people are often exploited in their respective workplaces, and some know nothing about the unions, including the ABWU, nor understand the service unions provide.

She says this training session has “definitely broadened their understanding and appreciation; so not only do they know more about their rights as employees, but also about an institution that is committed to protecting their rights as young professionals.”

The topics covered during the presentation included Employee Documents; Discrimination; Probation; Holiday Pay; Sick Leave; Severance Pay; and Unfair Dismissal.

A number of participants, following the session, eagerly shared their reactions, agreeing that it had been “very informative.”

According to one young woman, there may have been things that she and the others knew before; but it was great to have the instructor elaborate on them some more.

Another participant says the workshop gave her the confidence to approach her employer on several issues.

She adds that it was reassuring to know that the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union was there to provide guidance and representation to workers dealing with various grievances.

The ABWU Youth Arm is the branch of the Union tasked with sensitizing young workers about their rights by conducting educational workshops and other outreach programmes.