Union president says government workers giving half a day’s work should be unacceptable to taxpayers

The president of the Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade Union, Samuel
James, says that workers need to take a more proactive stance
about their health and work conditions.
At present, there are many government employees working for half
of the day for full-time pay. This situation has arisen because of
poor work conditions, including mold-infested premises.
James says that workers, themselves, contribute to the problem by
accepting such untenable working conditions and coping with them
by leaving early each day.
If the workplace is not fit for work, the union officer says, then
employees should not settle for working there for half of the day –
or even a quarter of the customary eight-hour work day.

However, James says, many accept this situation because they enjoy
the free time.
Therefore, the Free Trade Union president says, instead of standing
up and fighting for improved working conditions, many employees
are happy to be sent home early.
If workers continue along this line, he warns, it will be they who
have to pay the penalty years later when their health might be

According to James, all employers, including the Government, should
be ashamed of themselves for telling employees that – in spite of the
poor environment to which they have been subjected – it is okay to
work only for half of the day.

He says this is “nonsense,” noting that it is the taxpayers who are
compensating government employees to work for eight hours each

James notes that there is no productivity, and yet there is a strain on
the Treasury.

This should be sufficient to force the business community to take a
stand and lock down the country while calling for productivity, he

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade Union Samuel