Industrial Action By Transport Workers Evaded

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The planned shutdown of the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB) was aborted today (December 10) upon receiving written correspondence outlining that the promised increase would be enacted before Christmas 2019.

Last week Friday, many ABTB employees made their way to the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) headquarters as they sought some recompense to a collectively bargained increase of 5 percent.

A 3 percent increase was agreed for 2019 with the remaining 2 percent set to take effect as of January, 2020.

An agreement was made between both entities and was suppose to be made official with a letter from ABTB with the promised increase for Christmas 2019.

However, having not received the written correspondence, ABWU President, Kem Riley, lead the decision at around 12:15 pm for the workers to stage an industrial action at the Transport Board’s Paynters location intended to severely disrupt the main revenue center for the ABTB.

Fortunately, in the nick of time, the protest was averted with a letter handed to Riley dated 10th December, 2019, addressed to the union’s general secretary, David Massiah, and signed by Public Utilities permanent secretary, Edson Joseph.

It read: “It should be noted at a Board of Directors meeting convened on Wednesday 27th November, 2019, it was discussed, voted and approved to complete the process in keeping with negotiations of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union. There, approval has been granted for the immediate application of a three percent increase in salary as well as retroactive payments for the 2019 period. Further, these retroactive payments will be paid between the 15th and 23rd December, 2019. Additionally, the two percent increase for the 2020 period will take effect from January, 2020.”

“With this letter in hand,” announced Riley, “we have an agreement and an approval… we now have it in writing and so we ask that everybody go back to work.”

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