ABWU Press Statement PM Browne’s comments on Sir George Walter

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Sir George Walter

The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union takes note of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s
unfortunate and disgraceful attempt to denigrate the momentous and epic contributions of
Antigua and Barbuda National Hero, Sir George H. Walter.
Browne, in his delusional revision of historical facts, purported that Sir. George is “totally
underserving” of the designation of National Hero. Browne further attempted to malign the
former Premier by alleging that he was given a “cushy job” at the AT&LU by Sir. Vere Cornwall
Bird Sr., only because of his father’s contributions to the Union.
However, quite to the contrary, Sir George’s career at the AT&LU was characterized by struggle
and major accomplishments, particularly after he was unanimously elected to the position of
General Secretary on January 03, 1960 when the previous General Secretary demitted office.
Thereafter, Sir. George’s unwarranted and unfair dismissal from the AT&LU in 1967 was as a
result of his integrity and refusal to bend to the pressure of the then majority corrupt union
executives. These V.C. Bird controlled executive members received a salary for sitting on
government boards, and were attempting to influence the General Secretary and other full time
union officers, to accept a 5% offer during negotiations with the government for better wages
and working conditions. The policies of the administration had also resulted in the
marginalization of the workers at the Antigua Sugar Factory, after V.C. Bird took over control of
the industry. Sir George Walter maintained his stance and supported the workers cause, and
called for dialogue rather than unilateral imposition by the V. C. Bird led administration.
Sir George’s stance in support of the workers’ cause, led to his and one other officers’ dismissal
from the AT&LU.
This situation ultimately led Sir. George to answer the call of the workers to form a new union –
the Antigua Workers’ Union, which eventually swept away significant membership from the
AT&LU, both in the private and public sectors.

His leadership of the Antigua Workers Union was exemplary and he embarked upon the
organizational transformation of trade unionism in Antigua and Barbuda, modernising and
expanding the scope and organisationtional outreach of the new union to involve both white
collar and blue collar workers.
Because of his exceptional and people-centered leadership, he was called upon to take over the
leadership of the Progressive Labour Movement in 1970, and in 1971 led the PLM to a
resounding victory at the polls, thus becoming the Second Premier of Antigua and Barbuda.
As Premier, Sir George’s contributions particularly in the area of social welfare and protection
remains unrivaled by any other government in Antigua & Barbuda. Moreover, he demonstrated
astute leadership at a critical juncture in history when the nation was transitioning from colonial
governorship to independence.
Foremost among Sir. George’s accomplishments for the people of Antigua and Barbuda is the
establishment of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code which gave workers dignity and
protected their rights. Also credited to Sir. George is the creation of the Antigua and Barbuda
Social Security Scheme. These two accomplishments by themselves, have formed the foundation
on which a people-centered society has been built.
In his five years in office, Sir George pursued many endeavors that would yield exponential
benefits for generations of Antiguans & Barbudans. In 1975, the PLM administration spent
$10,000,000 on education, the highest figure ever spent up to that time. The figure included the
construction and expansion of several schools including the All Saints Secondary, Pares
Secondary, Jennings Secondary and Otto’s Comprehensive Schools. The opportunities and
benefits of this accelerated access to secondary education has redounded immeasurably for the
people of Antigua and Barbuda.
It was also under Antigua and Barbuda’s Second Premier that the one billion gallons of water at
Potworks Dam was put into effective and efficient use. In May 1975, Sir. George opened the
Delaps Water Treatment Plant which fed the island-wide water distribution system, providing
potable water for thousands of residents and improving their overall quality of life.
In the area of Industry and commerce, Sir George undertook the establishment of the Antigua
and Barbuda Development Bank which was at the time described as “a giant stride forward on
the journey towards economic and social emancipation.” To date, this body has provided
medium and long term financial support for numerous agricultural enterprises among other
indigenous business undertakings.
While these are just a few highlights of Sir George's contributions, the full record of his impact
on Antigua and Barbuda would be impossible to document in this medium, and even so, may still
prove unsatisfactory to an unreasonable and reprobate mind.
Sir Georges detractors, would have relished an opportunity to disgrace the esteemed Premier
following his stellar performance as the country’s leader. Prime Minister Browne’s reference to
Sir. George Walter’s incarceration failed to note that the judicial body exonerated him from all

the charges, and in fact, concluded that they were the result of a politically motivated witch hunt
aimed at destroying his character.
We at the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union again denounce and condemn the unwarranted
and vulgar attack on Antigua and Barbuda National Hero, Sir George H. Walter, by Prime
Minister Gaston Browne.
We call for an immediate apology and retraction of the vulgar comments made.
Antigua and Barbuda will continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Sir. George H. Walter.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. The Labour code was copied by every single English speaking Caribbean territory. Can’t leave out that!

    Stone need a lesson in A&B history as he doesn’t know the contributions of his predecessors.

  2. Such a long spcheel and no mention of the STEEL FRAME or the BLUE CHICKEN???

    What happened with the steel frame jack?

  3. I,as a young man in Antigua remembered George Walter with the ALP Union on North Street. He was always fighting for the ordinary workers back then. There was a separation of Walter from that ALP Union. Then he and others formed the Antigua Workers Union. They were in the trenches fighting for those working in the Sugar Cane and Hotels Industries in Antigua. Hundreds of Hotels Workers began to earn a reason pay check for that time.In 1968 we had an uprising against the Bird Regime because they did not want to recognize the new Union.The people marched all around St.Johns for days, inhaling tear gas without any fear what so ever.George Walter subsequently left the Union and ran for the Leadership of the Country.The PLM was born and won the elections of 1971.He became the second Premier of Antigua and Barbuda. As a young man in those times. I think he as the Leader of that Administration did very well for all of Antigua and Barbuda. In my opinion he deserved that accolade of National Hero as all of the others given such a recognition. Are they without sins? My answer is a resounding,NO. Gaston Browne has not one ounce of respect for anyone. In order to respect others you would first need to respect self. Those in positions of leadership needs to look into the mirror and stop beating up their children mothers. Not a joke,people.

  4. That radio station will certainly be this man’s downfall. I wonder turn coat Colin is all part of that plan to bring him down!

    • No. Turn coat Sean Bird is being used by the UPP to use “night soil radio” to “end Birdism once and for all” 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Congrats Hilson Baptiste👏 your dream/vendetta appears to be fulfilling via Sean Bird 😆🤣😂

    • Just Saying, you’re a person after my own heart. You are saying the same thing that I have been saying from the time Point FM started. That individual just can’t help himself. He will get on that radio station and talk himself into a load of trouble. He will certainly be his own downfall. Time will tell.

  5. Mr. Edghill I hope you didn’t simply copy and paste what David sent you. I hope you are not the one behing this “statement” even though your new role as PR for this useless union has just begun. Were you the one who called for the vacuous press conference today? The UPP-aligned ABWU is really grasping at straws while trying to somehow desperately convince the public and its members that it is not playing politics. (The union is supposed to pay the workers, not the government). The UPP/ABWU has incessantly levelled all kinds of criticisms at 2 other national heroes in their quest to “end Birdism once and for all”. Now that the legitimacy of their own “national hero” is being questioned/examined, they are upset. One social commentator puts it this way:

    “If a National hero by reason of elevation is beyond critical examination then there ought not to be any national heroes. Opinions about their contributions and accomplishments are open for discussion. Even Jesus the Christ of God is the subject and object of criticism. The Union officers and the former Prime Minister must produce evidence to the contrary as per Walters contributions. My estimation: the Union officers and former Prime Minister are grand standing with nothing grand to stand on. Period.” ~G.E

    It remains unclear exactly what Mr. Walter contributed to this country that is worthy of national hero status.

  6. Whether or not the prime Minister Browne agrees with the the appointment of Sir Walter, his delivery and just for him to dishonor a former premier of the country was uncalled for.

    Mr browne is so classless but we already know this.. smh

  7. Well well well. Gaston stirs up an ant’s nest. But funny. I have not heard the UPP say anything yet about it. What are they waiting on?
    They seem to have forgotten when Eddy Mansoor said that the Birds would have been condemned to the dustbin of history. And when Ambassador Underwood said that Papa Bird should not be a National Hero, because he was with an underage girl. I mean you guys forget when you make these controversial statements. And the PM prefaced his statement by saying that it would be controversial, but that it is his belief.

  8. Let Sir Walter rest in peace. He did a better job than Browne. Browne is just looking to be reelected to continue filling his pocket with all the money from Antigua. He needs to take care of the roads and the potholes. Hope the people see all he’s doing is chatting crap. Get him out of there, please.

    • GETTING HIM OUT IS ONE THING… BUT WHOM WOULD HIS REPLACEMENT BE.. I HOPE YOU’RE NOT SUGGESTING HAROLD LOVELL. ANTIGUA IS NO SWEETY SHOP. THE 10 YEARS UNDER UPP ARE STILL VERY MUCH AT THE FORE FRONT OF MY MIND.

  9. I just do not understand why our sitting Pm would attack the character of one of our national Heroes , while at the very same time we are teaching our children to develop natural pride by using these same national heroes. Can remember in independent day programs in a school program I was invited, the children portrayed the national heroes. Pm Browne if you do not apologize on this one , I will surely not voting the ABLP under your leadership. Secondly I think the use of your personal radio station to attack your fellow citizens is a poor use of the media. What about you have sessions on Financal management and business. Use this God given ability and opportunity to educate and uplift the youth.

    • This is why this theif and bully will win again because folks get distracted real easy and suffer "As time go by forget syndrome"

      Gaston does this repeatedly . Why get distracted so easily with this guy . All the media talks and rounds was about his rental to the investor and as soon as the room got a little hot what does he do?
      Like a theif he throws a bone in the corner and distracts the dogs. .
      I called it before it happened
      and happened it did with perfection .Yes the talks is still about him but not his financial indiscretions .Why you folks fall for this guys bag of tricks so easily.

  10. When Mansoor said papa Bird legacy must be put in the garbage bin and no Union or anyone came out and he must apologize..

  11. Is is true that the PLM/UPP plan to make Keithlyn Smith national hero too? If they can name a street after a caller to Observer radio who didnt do fart for our country, then they will give Lovell and Spncer national hero too.

  12. Saw ashy ankle at the press conference. Seems like he has a thing for certain types of press conference. The nation will forever remember him for his blood-in-hotel-lobby press conference 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    “The engines are NEW”
    “The engines are NEW”
    “The engines are NEW”

    Those NEW engines might get him national hero status 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 that and “ASHE LIED” 🤣🤣🤣
    Mount Obama style

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