Workers’ Union strongly denies Browne’s claim of funding UPP candidates, while Party says he ‘despises the working class’

The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) has responded to Prime
Minister Gaston Browne’s recent spate of attacks on the Union and its
members, calling his tirade “baseless.”
On two consecutive Saturdays, May 11 and May 18, the Union says Browne
continued his wave of unprovoked, malicious and unsubstantiated attacks on
the organization in a move to divert the public’s attention from the real issues
impacting citizens and residents.

These issues, the Union notes, include the Browne Administration’s failure to
address the crumbling infrastructure; the rising cost of living; the rise in
crime; a failing healthcare system; the dilapidated government buildings; and
the incompetence of the Government.
Browne has made several offensive accusations, including a claim that the
Union funds United Progressive Party (UPP) candidates while neglecting the
interests of the hotel workers it represents.
General Secretary David Massiah describes these accusations as blatant lies
and total fabrications that are designed to undermine workers’ confidence in
the Union.

Massiah states emphatically that at no time did the Union fund any UPP
candidate – not even former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who once
served as the Union’s general secretary, nor Chester Hughes, its current
general secretary.
He says the Union would never use its membership dues to fund any political
party or candidates, which would be illegal.

Officials from the UPP also deny Browne’s claims about candidate-funding,
saying they are “the scurrilous lies of a man who despises the working class.”
Unlike other unions, Massiah says, the Workers’ Union conference is not
influenced by any political parties or their branches, but by workers organized
into sections.
However, he explains that it is an independent organization with the right to
form alliances that are beneficial to its membership now or in the future.

That was Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union General Secretary David

Meanwhile, Massiah is reminding Browne of the callous attitude he displayed
to hotel workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, when his Administration
forced them to take vaccines against their will in order to maintain their jobs.
As a result of this policy, a number of hotel workers lost their employment,
Massiah reminds Browne.
Contrary to the dictator assertions of Prime Minister Browne, the organization
assures the public that the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union remains
focused on improving the lives of all workers by negotiating improved wages
and other conditions of employment.

Meanwhile, Party Chairman D.Gisele Isaac has described Browne as being so
insecure and narcissistic that he even “hijacked Labour Day from the workers
and made it all about him.”

She was referring to the T-shirts worn by Labour Party supporters on May 6.
The Union is calling on Browne to retract all untruthful and malicious
statements made about the organization and to desist from making such
further unfounded accusations.