LETTER: Disgust at the manner in which the Minister of Information has been handling the impasse at ABS

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Dear Editor,

I write to express my disgust at the manner in which the Minister of Information has been handling the impasse at ABS between the employees and management.  This was heightened particularly after listening to Mr. Potter detail on PointeFM the chronology of events, and highlight basic commitments which still remained unfulfilled by the management of ABS.

To the best of my belief, the Minister is not on premises for its day to day operations and as such is unlikely to have a true and complete picture of the situation there. Despite this, the Minister has been making repeated public pronouncements on the matter which serve to denigrate and bash the employees.

Even if the Minister, for his own personal reasons, chooses to 100% believe the words of management, many of which are being alleged to be false or inaccurate, I think the Minister ought to have or at least feign the decency to allow the employee grievance process to run its course, without his pre-judging the matter and doing so publicly to boot.

While there have undoubtedly been some improvements to the external product of ABS, this should not and cannot be at the expense of the sanity, overall health, morale and dignity of employees. In 2019, employers need to recognise that they are not simply replacement slave-drivers, and the Minister of all people should be ensuring that employees work under proper conditions, not just the physical amenities which in any event are also apparently subpar at ABS.

It was even more disheartening for me to learn that the Minster himself was formerly a shop steward. It is incredible that now that he has actual power to improve workers’ conditions and treatment, and at least listen openly and actively to their concerns, the Minister simply chooses this highhanded and unfair manner of dealing with the workers.

The aggrieved workers at ABS deserve at least the pretense of respect from him and I hope he will find it in himself to give it to them. Employees after all are the backbone of every business/institution, lest we forget.

Worried About Employees’ Rights in Antigua.

8 COMMENTS

    • and so what Ovals .. chuuppss what does that has to do with anything… point has been made … bwoy people like are u see , no bady suppose to stand up for anything …

  1. Maybe it’s time to just get back to work and do their job for which they were hired. Some drones there need to be fired. Others should be commended for the great work they do, and be given promotions. This station has improved tremendously in the last few months. The professional quality is really right up there with some of the best. That is a join effort by management and staff. Congratulations for a job well done. Obviously, there are a few who are there only because of the pay check. That element needs to be rooted out. There are only a tiny minority, and they would likely become trouble-makers wherever they are. Weed them out. Thanks to everybody else for a job well done. The public has taken notice and they are proud of ABS TV and ABE Radio. Staff and management must be doing something right.

  2. Letters to the Editor should have the author revealed and not hidden.
    That is not proper. If he r she wants to post incognito he or she can do that as a comment

  3. NEWS
    ABS Staff Strike Again After Letter From P.S
    February 21, 2019 58

    ABS workers are on strike after being told that they will not be paid for the period in which they protested last year.

    The workers say they received news of this by way of a letter from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information.

    When the ABS workers ended their ten day protest, parties agreed that no disciplinary action would be taken against staff.

    The agreement was made with the union, ABS management, and the Labour Department which intervened to end the industrial action.

    They remain off the job.

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    58 COMMENTS
    Grateful February 21, 2019 at 3:23 pm
    They can’t expect to get paid for ten (10) whole days of protesting. They should be fired if they continue to stay off the job.

    Reply
    Girlzboos1 February 21, 2019 at 3:49 pm
    Seriously so we must work in outfit conditions wow kudos to u

    Reply
    Miss P February 21, 2019 at 5:10 pm
    I agree

    Reply
    Miss P February 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm
    So true you really have to think about if you were in other people shoes indeed, you have to say sometimes what if it was me, so I totally agree on this one.

    Reply
    Know the truth February 21, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    So you’re saying that its ok for them to have persons working in unsafe unhealthy conditions, refuse to pay persons for their overtime, holiday pay and just do the workers as they please all because they arent according to the management in the good book or a parr of their special team? Its a shame everyone chatting and dont know the facts

    From The Sideline February 22, 2019 at 12:10 am
    The last strike was not about the conditions. They strike because of un-paid overtime and they want the GM to go.

    Reply
    Dani February 22, 2019 at 5:41 pm
    The GM IS part of working conditions. It is not just about physical/building conditions.

    It is 2019, treating people like shit and creating an unhealthy work environment nar go again.

    How can ANYONE be against improved conditions for all, including the ones who are working but silently supporting and too cowardly to stand up.

    Anyway, Rosa Parks didn’t wait for anybody to sit down with her or sit down for two seconds alone. Those who feel it must know it. Keep up the fight, workers!

    Reply
    From The Sideline February 23, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    In live you do not chose in which family you are born or who your father and mother will be. But you have to live with them. And if possible love them. That is family. But when it comes to work you chose who you want to work with. And if you do not like the people around you, or your boss all you have to do if QUIT the job and find another one

    These People February 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm
    Really? So they must work in these conditions? Would you if the shoe were on your feet?

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm
    And just what are “those conditions”???

    Reply
    Righteous February 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm
    You are sooo retarded… Get the facts and come run your mouth…

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 12:51 pm
    Perhaps you could drop the word “retarded”, which is no longer socially acceptable anywhere. You should say “challenged” instead! This is the 21st century.

    Reply
    From The Sideline February 22, 2019 at 12:08 am
    You are so right. I always ask who running the asylum. The inmates?
    These people want to strike and stay home and still get paid. So what about those that didn’t strike. Should they get double pay for keeping the station open?

    Reply
    Ayodele February 22, 2019 at 6:18 am
    When you are on that side of the fence…. then you can make sensible comments….Please put yourself in other people situations.

    Reply
    Dani February 22, 2019 at 5:37 pm
    How long precisely should one protest untenable conditions and environment?? Especially if management has ignored all other avenues including direct pressing recommendations from the labour commissioner?

    Give me an aspirin.

    Reply
    Have Mercy February 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm
    So employees expect to “not work” and get paid for those days? Tell them try that in the private sector.

    Reply
    Girlzboos1 February 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm
    The question is why are they Protesting n what’s the issue n how can u sign an agreement then 2 months after u want take out money

    Reply
    Have Mercy February 21, 2019 at 4:11 pm
    Why they are protesting is a different issue. If you owned a business and your employees protested for 10 days i.e. no contribution to the productivity of YOUR business, would you pay them for not doing their job??

    Reply
    wadad1 February 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    comparing private sector with government is like comparing apples with oranges.

    Reply
    Have Mercy February 22, 2019 at 9:15 am
    No it’s not. Government employees are known to have a laid-black, sloppy attitude towards their jobs and the public. We need to RAISE THE STANDARD in the public sector and get rid of the “don’t care” attitude that is so prevalent in government departments. Don’t even get me started about the low-life “customer service” they mete out to the public. The shop steward even admitted that some of those same protesting workers were NOT signing in. It was only after the meeting that they started to sign in when they arrived to work. You cannot “do as you like” and expect to get away with it.

    That being said, if the hazardous working conditions persist, then that should have been resolved. But poor working conditions should not translate to having a shitty attitude and mentality “just because” it’s a government entity.

    IaM February 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm
    That’s not it, but as far as the public has been told an agreement was signed; if that is true then why were their monies deducted?

    Reply
    Black Espresso February 21, 2019 at 4:51 pm
    Employers expect to NOT provide basic proper working conditions and salaries and still get the employees’ time and energy?

    This underhanded and probably illegal action to punish the employees is itself a clear indication of poor management. What can really go so inna 2019?!!?

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 9:03 am
    Nobody should be paid for work they did NOT do.

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 12:53 pm
    Some of them would never make it in the private sector. No work. No pay. Protest all you want, but that is on your own time (and money).

    Reply
    Grateful February 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm
    They can’t expect to get paid for ten (10) whole days of protesting. They should be fired if they continue to stay off the job. That’s not right.

    Reply
    Alex February 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    Are you kidding? They want to be paid for NOT working? Protesting is working? What this world is coming to….

    Reply
    YELLO February 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    OUR FRIEND BOLDFACE WOULD SAY TO YOU WHEN YOU DON”T KNOW YOU JUST DON”T KNOW

    Reply
    tenman February 21, 2019 at 4:16 pm
    Can they provide proof of this agreement? Suspect they can’t and its my understanding that the PS would have been at the meeting. You then have a worker with a placard calling his manager a Jezebel. Its time for real action to be taken because lines have been crossed

    Reply
    Black Espresso February 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm
    That may depend on if the employee is calling a spade a spade.

    It would be actually awful if management was resorting to denying the agreement for what should have in any event been done voluntarily in good faith while matters await a resolution. How low are you willing to place the bar?

    Reply
    D Li. Law February 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm
    It was signed by J Z Bell. Your reasoning is just based on speculation that she is being called a jezibell.

    Reply
    tenman February 22, 2019 at 12:12 am
    actually SAYS SIGNED by abs workers. Any boss proceed to burn your own house down. Clearly we have learned from our past

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 12:56 pm
    IF this guy was calling the manager Zezebell, he should be the first one fired. There are many people with manners who’d be glad to replace him today.

    Reply
    From The Sideline February 22, 2019 at 12:16 am
    They say I always sound harsh. But i do not mess with my company. The government will one day learn to manage staff properly and not be afraid for loosing votes. They should be fired PERIOD. They want to run the show and that is not right. They are following Ralph and that will cost them. Don;t know why the AT & LU took him on board at all. he is a UPP man and has always been.

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 9:06 am
    You are absolutely right Tenman.

    Reply
    Amy daniel February 21, 2019 at 4:33 pm
    I see why the country is like this. When you stand for nothing you fall for anything. You guys have my full support.

    Reply
    IaM February 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm
    I am with you 100 percent. The workers have been wronged, therefore they are taking action; ALOT of all u out there should take a leaf out of their BOOK.

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 12:58 pm
    In what way have they been “wronged”???

    Reply
    Faithful February 21, 2019 at 4:46 pm
    You’ll really need to know the facts before coming here and chatting foolishness…

    Seriously!

    Reply
    Rawlston Pompey February 21, 2019 at 5:08 pm
    CONFUSED

    The decision to ‘…deny work-benefits’ has absolutely nothing to do with ‘…disciplinary action’, in which a particular course of action may hinge.

    Those that understand ‘…bush-fires,’ know that all it takes is a ‘…bit of gasoline and a sparkle, then there is an inferno.’

    While there has always been need to ensure discipline among employees, to interfere with ‘…reasonable expectations of being paid, full benefits,’ clearly appears to be at the heart of the prolonged saga between the ‘ …aggrieved employees and apparent insensitive management.’

    Employees do not mind being disciplined, but do not interfere with their pay.’

    If workplace disputes ought to be settled amicably, there have to be compromises.
    It cannot be ‘…no disciplinary action, but no pay.’ Hay in a barn house could easily be ignited.

    Thus, one may not turn a page and on the new page, seek to agitate or cause that which has the potential to exacerbate a situation to be written on the new page.

    Bygone shall be bygone.

    Reply
    From The Sideline February 22, 2019 at 12:25 am
    “Employees do not mind being disciplined, but do not interfere with their pay.’”
    Have you never heard of leave without pay. That is what they took. Leave without pay. When you discipline an employee and send them home with pay, it is like giving them extra vacation. In that case they will always want to be disciplined. But when you cut their pay that’s when they feel it. When you take strike actions you should be willing to give up something. Especially when the strike was not initially sanction by the Union. Employees have rights and so do employers. Right to a fair days work for a fair days pay.

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 9:11 am
    Absolutely. A strike must never be taken as a vacation with pay. Never. It seems some people might be there only for a pay cheque but don’t was to do “a fair days work for a fair days pay”. Some of these people may need to be fired. Others are valuable employees.

    Reply
    Dani February 22, 2019 at 6:02 pm
    You are misinformed, about the letter and also about what “leave without pay” is and how it works.

    Papa Bird haffi ah turn all now for how they are trying to stifle and trample the workers and their rights. ABS workers seem too soft though really. Couldn’t be me after you touch my money without lawful cause.

    Look at it this way: how on Earth could any good management allow this to go on for so long and do absolutely NOTHING not even address and implement the urgent recommendations made.

    Lack of good faith entirely by management.

    Reply
    From The Sideline February 22, 2019 at 12:28 am
    Tell me did the Sugar factory workers get paid when they stroked for one year?

    Reply
    Dani February 22, 2019 at 6:07 pm
    Not sure about way back then but workers rights have evolved.

    Did post office workers, Clarevue, Solid Waste etc collect their full cheque? Why they have strong so for ABS workers?

    Reply
    Realist February 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm
    This is what you get when you stand up for your rights. People accepting to much advantage. This is a democratic nation. Protest for your rights.

    Reply
    Rastaman February 21, 2019 at 5:51 pm
    They should start a petition to remove the Minister for gross incompetence, for allowing these issues to prolong for so long.

    Obviously the Minister is the problem not the manager, the manager carries out the MINISTER’S policies.

    The staff need to put the responsibility where it belongs the policy. Some how the manager should stop talking and start listening.

    Reply
    CErmle February 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm
    What the Minister did???

    Reply
    Rastaman February 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm
    @CErmle Hope you understand my answer.

    THE MINISTER DID NOTHING

  4. It is sad how some people ALWAYS SEEMS to think and operate from a political/party standpoint.
    Hence NO STANCE s EVER RELEVANT OR CALLED FOR.
    Kodos to the people of ABS.
    This is supposed to be a DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY and YOU ARE NEITHER SLAVES NOR DOGS. CONTINUE TO STAND UP.
    MORE OF WE WHO ARE CHICKENS CAN TAKE A PAGE FROM YOUR BOOK.
    YOU REALIZED THAT THERE IS ALWAYS ISSUES WITH MANAGEMENT AND NOTHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? SOMETHING IS WRONG.
    ARE THERE SECRETS AND IF TOUCHED …?
    HMMMMMM!

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