ABWU Condemns PM Browne’s Accusations 

ABLP Leader Gaston Browne

ABWU Condemns PM Browne’s Accusations 

The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) condemns the unsubstantiated accusations levelled against the Union by Prime Minister Gaston Browne during his 2024 Labour Day address at the AT&LU’s Labour Day Rally.

Among other accusations, the Prime Minister falsely stated that the ABWU’s Leadership had accepted bribes from hoteliers and had neglected the interest of workers.

These accusations are nothing more than mischievous tactics designed to undermine the confidence of workers in their Union.

Our membership recognize these comments for what they really are: a deflection from the failed social and economic policies of the Gaston Browne Administration.

Notwithstanding, we wish to highlight some of the important benefits that hotel workers have won through their Union – the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union.

These include a Thrift Fund covering thousands of hotel workers included on the ABHTA contract, and Medical Insurance coverage for workers and their families. Additionally, hotel workers continue to receive all their negotiated increases to date.

While these achievements are significant and have added tremendous value to the lives of hotel workers, it is the Government’s uncaring policies over the last 9 years that have diminished and even eroded the impact of many of these benefits.

The Gaston Browne Administration has repeatedly turned a deaf ear to hotel workers who have been pleading for the administration to address the skyrocketing cost of living.

If hotel workers are unable to afford a car or secure a mortgage as Browne claims, then that is an indictment on his administration’s social and economic policies, not the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union. 

If the Gaston Browne administration is as genuinely concerned about the financial well-being of hotel workers as it purports to be, then why did they vehemently oppose the labour union’s minimum wage proposal of $10.00 per hour in favor of a lower rate? Again it is the policies and anti-worker posture of the Gaston Browne Administration that continue to pauperise workers in this country.

Hotel workers struggled through the pandemic with minimal support from the Government.

Truth be told, in many cases, it was the thrift fund established through the foresight of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union that saved many workers from complete ruin.

Unlike the Gaston Browne administration, our Union believes in cultivating positive relationships with our partners; relationships that are built on the principles of mutual respect and dialogue, not bullying, slander and disrespect. 

As a result, we were able to collaborate with the ABHTA and other hoteliers to deliver thousands of food packages and food vouchers to workers during the Pandemic.

Apart from the Pandemic, the ongoing inflation crisis has been left unchecked by the Gaston Browne Administration despite the many cries for relief.

In fact, to add insult to injury, the Gaston Browne Administration hiked the rate of ABST and other taxes without consideration for the dire straits many workers found themselves in coming out of the Pandemic.

This administration has gone above and beyond to demonstrate that it is devoid of compassion and all natural affection when it comes to workers.

Our Union, on the other hand, has gone beyond the Collective Agreement and the strict definition of industrial relations, to negotiate exclusive discounts for our members who do business with our corporate partners.

Just imagine how workers would have been in a much better place if the Government used its influence to undertake similar initiatives to bring relief to workers.

It is also ironic that the Prime Minister would present himself as a champion for the well-being of private sector workers while public sector employees, directly under his care, are crying out against deplorable conditions of work, dilapidated facilities and delayed negotiations.

Hotel workers are not gullible and simple-minded as the Prime Minister seems to believe.

They are observing the facts and analysing the actions of the Government.

The Prime Minister also used his Labour Day address to issue a call for the AT&LU to poach on the ABWU’s membership, while claiming that the AT&LU’s alignment with the Labour Party is a standard of integrity and commitment to workers’ rights.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This administration has issued the most threats to workers and has trampled upon their rights without remorse. 

The ongoing severance battle with LIAT workers has underscored the Prime Minister’s contempt for workers’ rights and the presence of powerful unions.

Today, while the Barbados government has begun issuing the final portions of its settlement arrangement with workers, the Browne Administration is still bullying workers into accepting a pittance. Certainly, this is not the posture of a worker-friendly or union-friendly government.

Again, we recognize the Prime Minister’s statements for what they really are: a deflection from the failures of his administration! The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union remains strong.

Our members are committed and not easily swayed by threats, lies, and foolish enticements. We are focused on our mandate to protect the rights of workers and improve their conditions of work.

We are not guided or blinded by any political agenda, and we will continue to resist all attempts to erode the rights of workers and undermine the role of the Union.

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  1. Gaston Browne likes to keep Antiguans in low paying jobs and poor. Simple!


    Juxtapose this on how he allows big business corporations ‘carte blanche’ to do as they please, against that of hardworking Antiguans.

    Our Prime Minister acts more like a paid-up lobbyist for them.

    Why doesn’t he show the same VIGOUR for the indigenous people of this great country?

    I pray for the day when a PM puts people first instead of pure greed and avarice!

    ABWU, Keep highlighting these injustices on behalf of your poorly paid workers.

    Bwoi, if all the unions got together and united in unison, Gaston Browne’s leadership would come into question.


    Why you jealous our Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne ? Stop cruising Antigua News Room and create your own wealth. Brixtonian, You are the BIGGEST clown. Shame on you.

    • @ INGRATE, I have around half-a-dozen revenue streams through ‘passive’ income.

      I make money whilst I sleep!

      That’s one of the reasons I can spend so much QUALITY time on these wonderful ANR threads.

      Try it sometime.

      Swallow your pride, reach out to Brixtonian, and I’ll recommend you some financial and passive income making books for you to peruse …

      Reach out @ INGRAM, you know it makes sense 😉

  3. “If the Gaston Browne administration is as genuinely concerned about the financial well-being of hotel workers as it purports to be, then why did they vehemently oppose the labour union’s minimum wage proposal of $10.00 per hour in favor of a lower rate”?

    Answer up Gaston.

  4. If I were in a leadership position in the Union.I would be going to consult with my Lawyer.Gaston would be given 2 choices.A Public retraction or off to the Courts we go.

  5. Hmmm this the Union that allowed Carlisle not to sever their staff during covid and they were home for 6 months so it seems like you’re protecting the employers and not the employees and now you now decided they should split up staff vacation days per pay period rather than pay out the entire amount as it was customary over the years. It seems like you’re protecting your contributions more than anything else.

  6. The Private sector will not be baited into this. If you can’t distinguish your political understanding of this… good luck.

  7. Let me quote the chambers president:

    “I fail to see how the Hon. Prime Minister could rightfully assert that I agreed to and proposed $9.00, when $8.90 was what we proposed. The Minimum Wage Advisory Committee was ejected from the Cabinet meeting before the decision on $9.00 was made. We had no part in those deliberations.

    The last time I checked, proposing $8.90 is not the same as $9.00. Is the Hon. Prime Minister in some convoluted way suggesting that $8.90 is the same as $9.00?” see https://antiguanewsroom.com/response-to-antigua-news-room-article-entitled-pm-lashes-back-at-yves-ephraimover-minimum-wage-implementation/

    Fact is the group that union was a part of recommended essentially the same amount that cabinet approved . I also can’t help but remember Chester Hughes former political opponent, Ralph Francis, lamenting how he (Chester)could have raised the campaign funds he had when his position as a union rep was not known to pay well.

  8. What apology is sought? Sue the man!!! He has been wined and dined by some of these hotelier so are we to believe the same of him?
    I want to be fair here though. If he is correct , which I doubt, then he has a right to say so. Everyone needs to keep their noses clean

  9. I wonder, @Ingrate, how Gaston Browne created his own wealth? Asot Michael reminded us that prior to 2014 he had nothing. Now he boast of being worth millions? How? The answer; of course, is obvious, but in time, we shall see.
    Again, let anyone step forward and prove how this DAWG has done ANYTHING of worth for this country.
    He is acusing the unions of what exactly? Accepting bribes? Let him prove his allegations.

  10. Workers were sent home during a poison Vax mandate, fired wrongfully and they still haven’t been paid if you believe the PM cares for you, you don’t love yourself nor Antigua. Everytime someone speaks the truth they are jealous of the PM, how foolish.!!Citizens are not jealous they hate the injustice and the greed of him. He might be a nice person out of power and politics but power corrupts many

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