$300,000 in Financial Support Released to employees in the Hospitality Sector


Hundreds of employees within the Hospitality sector are receiving the first installment of Relief Funds released from their Thrift Fund Accounts with over EC$300,000 being paid out this week.
The Thrift Fund was established in 2010 and currently has seventeen (17) Resorts on Antigua that are contributors to the Fund. Both the ABHTA and the ABWU are Trustees of the Fund and have formed a joint agreement to release up to 50% of available funds to qualifying employees within the respective resorts. Employees who have registered to the Relief Fund will this week receive the first of six (6) payments of EC$640. The funds will be paid fortnightly for the next three months.

Vernon A. Jeffers, Snr, Chairman of the ABHTA stated that “We are pleased to be able to come together and collaborate with the ABWU on a project as important as this. Our focus is squarely on our employees and ensuring some measure of financial security during this challenging time. Over the next six (6) weeks and estimated EC$2 million dollars in Relief payments would have been released to employees”.

David Massiah, General Secretary of the ABWU remarked that “This is only the first of two initiatives we are working on for our members in the sector. Our focus over the past two weeks has been to mobilize the Thrift Fund payment. Our teams are now focused on our Stage two plans of delivering Care Packages. Our plans are well underway and we are looking forwarding to updating our members on when registration will continue”.
Employees who are interested in accessing their Thrift Fund should contact their respective employers Human Resource Departments. For any specific questions on how the funds will be distributed, please contact the ABHTA at 462.0374/4928 or [email protected]

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  1. Question- Is this the thrift fund that has been deducted from the employees salaries every pay period and held in a bank account in their name until such tome as they no longer work for the company? Or is this the employers contribution where they should match the standard percentage deducted from the employee?

  2. This is a lie. I’m a hotel employee who have been laid off due to the covid-19 crisis and no relief have been offer to me or given to me, neither the financial help or the food package they had me sign up for

    • Please! Them two ah politicians, you expect them to talk any truth? Giving people their own money is supposed to sound oh so benevolent. #fakers

  3. Great news for the beneficiaries and great initiative by the union and hotel association. The employees needed this assistance now more than ever before!

  4. Just some basic maths. $300,000/$640(per person) = 468.75 persons. Gaston Brown mentioned that almost 20,000 hotel workers have lost their jobs. This means that only 2.34% of the estimated 20k workers are getting assistance. While this is great for those who are getting it, what happens to the the other 97% of workers? Consider this- this same 20k workers pay a mandatory $10 a week in union dues. 20,000×10=$200,000 per week. $200,000×52 weeks = $10,400,000 a year for the Union. Please don’t act like giving $600,000 over 3 months is a big deal. Plus it’s the employee’s money. In all honesty there is no real “help“ here. Just the illusion of it.

    • Can’t have smart people here in Antigua so you all the the smart talk !!! We believe your robots take the commands and Obey !!! Without question !!!! Guess most of us has not realize that NO money is coming unless it’s donated like it has always been if we kept the airforce base here …. well we would have been ok !!! Legalize the weed and let’s make money ASAP CIP will be taking a hit this year and next

  5. It is their own money that they are entitled to. Ordinarily they can borrow from the fund.

    AHTA is not giving the hospitality employees any thing.

    Why all the hotels that get hundreds of millions of dollars in concession on the backs of the hospitality workers annually do not put 5 five million dollars into a fund collectively according to hotel profit margin and support the workers that has made them wealthy……

    This is a troubling article….. No humanitarian effort from this group…. Wise up people pay attention…..

    They are giving you your own money……It is your money…..They are not doing anything special for you. ….It is your money….It is your money…

  6. When the hotel already get concessions why is it they cant help out the workers who have made them rich when they decide to pay us such small change each pay week rubbing us of the service charge, and the little you tey to save in the thrift fund they telling u to use, so when u get old u have nothing

  7. Seems like if you did not make payments to the thrift fund u will not receive payments
    . People this is not a stimulus package.

  8. This is not a stimulus package, this is the 50% the employers contributed to the fund , if you are not part of a thrift fund you may just get a food package from the ABHTA.troubling times, piece of a loaf is better than none,adjust to the new norm, we are in war with an invisible enemy.

  9. There are a lot of hotels workers who were on seasonal contract and don’t even have a shift fund retirement savings. Also those employees who had just started and have less or little over a year in the hotel industries. What about these employees?

  10. Let me first congratulate the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union on negotiating with the Employer’s Organization to the benefit of its MEMBERS.

    Under normal circumstances, these monies would only become payable at retirement time, all things being equal.

    I want people to note that the benefit is provided for THE MEMBERS of the union.

    I make this point because I hear some idiots speaking negatively when ANOTHER ORGANIZATION provided some benefits FOR ITS MEMBERS.

    I heard all kind of ignorant statements ranging from this ORGANIZATION should be providing for ‘ALL’ or the RESOURCES OF THE ORGANIZATION should ‘have been provided to N.O.D.S. for distribution’.

    How foolish can we really get? S.M.H.

    • Dear Beef,

      The thrift fund for the hotel employees under the ABWU umbrella is accessible 5 ways;
      1) Educational Loan
      2) Medical Emergency
      3) Home Improvement Loan
      4) Retirement
      5) Termination of Employment

      If we are being honest what has happened to most of the hotel workers is in fact termination of their employment. Very few hotels in Antigua can guarantee they will reopen this year. Those that can, are still paying their employees a percentage of their salaries even though they are closed. Employees of these hotels are not eligible for this “relief.”

      While I applaud the union for making an attempt to ease the impact on its displaced members. I am very disappointed that the best they could have come out of the negotiations with is to give the employees what is already theirs.

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