Labour Department Staff Asked To Leave After Showing Up To Work In Jeans


Several staff members at the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Department were asked to go home on Friday morning after showing up to work in jeans against the wishes of the Labour Commissioner.

According to staff at the department, Labour Commissioner Eltonia Rojas at a meeting on Thursday said, staff should desist from wearing jeans on Fridays because of a personal decision she made.

However, back in 2020, while Rojas was away in Italy for a trip, Deputy-Commissioner Pascal Kentish and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Stacey Gregg-Paige apparently came to an agreement with staff that jeans could be worn to work on Fridays provided they were smart and not distressed.

On arrival at the office today, Rojas reportedly asked staff who were attired in jeans to leave the building. As tensions grew, Rojas and an employee reportedly got into a verbal disagreement that got heated requiring staff to separate the women.

Rojas allegedly then called the police asking for their assistance to remove the staff members.

Currently, the staff remain on the premises of the Labour Department as they were instructed by the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association not to leave the building until they have been issued an official letter by the Labour Commissioner.

The Antigua Trades and Labour Union said they are aware of the situation, and they have sent a representative to the Labour Department to have discussions with the staff and the Labour Commissioner.

It is reported that the relationship between Rojas and staff has been strained for some time.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary and Rojas was contacted for comment but was engaged at the time and could not speak to Observer.

[The Daily Observer]

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  1. Ms.Eltonia Rojas:Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed,this morning.

    That is such petty crap. Where a person in such a position of Management over stepping her bounds. On Fridays,it is casual day. As long as it is casually dressed in good taste. The Labor Commissioner has much more important things on her plates. In my opinion,she is going after the wrong people. Those who could make her look good and or break her. She is going after very low hanging fruits. Where one could sit on their backsides and picked. Many persons in the Civil Service are power hungry individuals. Where they are promoted and it goes to their heads. They are not people person at all. Many are unapproachable that must stop now.

  2. Casual Fridays is an incentive by management to their employees for performance, and an opportunity to catch up in paperwork etc.. This commissioner did not handle the matter well, and instead lost respect for herself and the office. Had she checked with the deputy in charge the situation could have been discretely addressed and remain internal. The employees did nothing wrong since a supervisor approved the casual attire. As long as its in good taste and professional, casual attire to the office is standard in many countries. It also improves morale and does not impact performance. This is a text book case of arrogance by an irrational-authoritative individual who seem to be inexperienced in conflict resolution.

  3. In 2021? Really? Is this woman fa real? Or she takes her power to the extreme? Why when persons get a taste of a new position they think everyone is beneath them? She sounds like a slave driver to me! Almost every work place allows jeans on Fridays! Ah wah she ah gwan so fa!

    • You are exposing yourself as a “stupid” one. Your filthy mouth insures you’ll never work anywhere near the public. Stop it.

  4. The good lady seems to be making Anderson’ Carty’s claim of her incompetence holds true.

  5. Was contacted Was engaged….can someone say grammarly
    Anyhows, ppl in top position feel they can bully staff beneath .
    Yes LABOUR department stand up to the PS and whoever else think them ah boss and think that dem bad.
    How dem who think dem ah boss cant stand up to the Minister dem!!

  6. Bet if it was male commissioner that female employee would not have been so disrespectful to him. If it’s a man, he’s the boss. If it’s a woman, she’s a bitch. Tired of the double standards.

    And how can the deputy commissioner go against the commissioner while he/she’s away and undermine what was already established?? Is the deputy trying to USURP the Commissioner??

    • Read good you see it was a decision by the deputy and PS not just the deputy alone. The Commissioner answers to the PS who also gave permission so she should have take that issue up with the PS and not the staff.

  7. They should investigate her or ask her about the various nonsense that happened under her watch ask her about a certain officer that is implicated in touching the government work permit monies and the only thing that happened is that she was sent to another area in the departmentt because it’s her friend. That same thievery happening since she was a junior coming up through the ranks and continued to to recent until uncovered. she know about it. Is just the other day a none national complained about something and a senior officer launched a covert investigation and uncover the thievery of thousands of dollars.

    Minister knows about it. Department heads knows about it. Ask her why she’s disrespectful to Pascal Kentish the deputy. Ask her why she followed Judy today to fight just Ask her why she told staff on Thursday she can be more ghetto than a market vendor in that same meeting. Ask her why she doesn’t say morning to staff and abuses them verbally just like how the permanent secretary abuses the entire staff. The only three sensible persons who lead in that ministry is Henry Kentish and hyman. Remove the Labour commissioner and the permanent secretary and that ministry will run correctly. They’re corrupt and somebody needs to investigate them. Imagine thieves trying to catch thieves. The top slack nf and they should be glad that the low hanging fruits makes them and that ministry look good.

    Eltonia my advice to you is to go get back the Mexican cause not even he that took u to church can stand you. Imagine that. The two architects if two failed marriages leading two areas in one department. A certain top official in that ministry was correct. WOMAN NUH SUPPOSE TO KEAD NOTHING AND SHE IS A WOMAN

  8. In A&B we major in minors. In a labour environment where workers r being disenfranchised and taken advantage of, one would imagine that other serious matters would hold the attention of the Labour Commissioner. Seriously? Jeans? That was your top agenda item? Give me a break!!

    I worked for a Fortune 500 company and I went to work in jeans and polo shirt – 7 days per week. I moved home and have to wear long-sleeved shirts and ties in 95 degree weather. Absolute nonsense!!

    • I really doubt that you worked for
      “a Fortune 500 company” and worked in jeans. Were you in the sanitation department?

      • @Betty’s Hope:I think you are insulting to DadliMan. I worked for a Fortune 500 Company.I retired as a Senior Vice President of Distribution. The name of that Company is TJX COMPANIES.It owns TJMaxx,Marshalls,Home Goods in the USA.It also owns Winners,Home Sense and Sierra in Canada.In England it owns,TK Maxx.We were an all Casual Corporation.Where you would wear a Polo shirt and or dress shirt and pant without a tie,daily.On Fridays we wore jeans and any shirts.We called it Casual Day.Our successes as a Corporation did not diminish because were wore CASUAL CLOTHING TO WORK.That Company to this day(2021) is very financially successful. The way you speak to your staff could determine theirs and your successes. When I left that Company the staff shed tears. They formed two lines and hug me and patted on the back as I walked out the Building. They did not want to see me go. Because of the way I treated them. I were not better than them. We just had different levels of responsibilities within the Company.

    • “According to staff at the department, Labour Commissioner Eltonia Rojas at a meeting on Thursday said, staff should desist from wearing jeans on Fridays because of a personal decision she made.”
      I still can’t believe this is what I read. Personal Decision(allegedly)? This determines how you will affect other workers in the department… Come better than that…seriously…

  9. Dont forget about the one stop employment center. The manager up they needs to go. Her BIG TALK is her father has done alot for ALP AND THEM CAN’T DO SHE NOTHING AND MAKE IT WORST THE MINISTER A SHE FAMILY. She is horrible and wicket woman, who nah know her ass from her elbow. She nah do no work. She is never at work. You will call for her and all you get am sorry she is not in. Even if you leave messages never to return your call. That center needs to SHUT DOWN. The same labour commissioner is her friend who hide whats happening. She goes on the media and boast about the One Stop Employment center and truth to be told nothing is going on there the very polite staff is the one doing all the work. Person has been register there and not getting any jobs. Years she has been treating the staff like dirt. Even person that has been placed there from the work experience program she make there experience the worst one ever. The poor in experience trainees can’t even stand up for them own rights, cause she will quickly call the same labour commissioner and tell her she don’t want them working anymore. That’s to show they are all friends and birds of a feather flock together. Something needs to be done leadership matters. As mention in previous comments bigger issues is there to be fixed and she a stress about jeans. The same persons that are wearing jeans get the work done to make she look good. Some thing must me done they shows no leadership and they are all friends so the staff is always wrong. I hope the minister see that she is the problem because a 100 French man can’t be wrong. I guess Andy was right. STOP WASTE TIME ON PETTY THINGS AND FIX THE REAL ISSUES

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