The United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St. John’s City
South is concerned about the level of victimization taking place in
the workplace – in both the public and private sectors.
Franz deFreitas’s says his concern was heightened after he learned
that an employee of a statutory corporation had been victimized and
then dismissed, allegedly because he dared to share his opinion on
The industrial relations matter reportedly is being pursued with the
assistance of a union.
However, this is not the only incident of what appears to be
victimization on the job. DeFreitas says he has received numerous
calls from other workers who are complaining about similar
situations at their places of employment.
The UPP caretaker notes that many Antiguans and Barbudans
appear to have a high tolerance for abuse, since they tend to accept
the poor treatment – especially the type that is against the law – for
a long time before doing anything about it.
And, in some cases, he observes, nothing is ever done by these
He cites a case in which one woman says she has been battling
victimization for almost10 years, and he declares that something
has to be done to address such issues and provide workers with
relief and assistance.
DeFreitas points out that the on-the-job harassment that many
workers face can have far-reaching implications, including damage
to their mental health.
The UPP caretaker, who describes himself as an “eternal optimist,”
says he is confident that – somewhere down the road – the
authorities will take a serious look at such situations and put
mechanisms in place to handle them.
DeFreitas says the well-being of workers should be of concern to
everyone regardless of their political affiliation.