The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) has negotiated another successful wage increase for employees at a local company.
The Union reports that line staff at KFC Antigua are set to benefit from an increase, following the signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that covers the period October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2025.
Reportedly, the pay raise will be implemented over a three-year period. The Union says that Year 1 will see the staff getting an additional $15 weekly, with another $13 a week in Years 2 and 3, respectively.
The new agreement also increases the starting rate from $9 per hour to $9.50.
Additionally, the Union says, some staff members will benefit from further wage adjustments based on their years of employment with the company.
Hugh Joseph, an industrial relations officer with the Union, describes the overall tone of the negotiations as cordial, in spite of some differences.
Joseph says that both parties “did what was in the best interest of the employees and the continued successful operation of the business.”
Meanwhile, Tessa Hesse, the general manager at KFC, says the new agreement comes when the company is still recovering from the pandemic and facing increases in production costs.
Notwithstanding, Hesse notes that KFC Antigua is proud to maintain full employment even in these difficult times.
Throughout the negotiations, she says, the company was mindful of the rising cost of living, and it was committed to providing some level of relief to employees. Therefore, Hesse adds, it gave the company “great pride” to make good on the agreement.
The executive secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Employers Federation, Arlene Martin, says the Federation, through close cooperation with KFC Antigua, was able to conclude negotiations in record time.
Martin underscores that the Federation is a critical partner in assisting companies in negotiating labour agreements.