LETTER: Daily extortion of persons in our twin island state within this Tourism Industry


Dear Editor,

Sometimes I sit and ponder about the daily extortion of persons in our twin island state have to endure within this “ToUrIsM iNdUsTrY”.


With limited representation from bought out union heads, to the heavy work load for the PETTY CASH being remunerated…


How can these hoteliers find it “fair” to pay their workers the basic minimum wage and over work them with minimal benefits?


There’s one group of hotels who find it profitable to say the least to pay $9.50 per hour across Majority of their hotel staff with 1 point of unaudited service charge…


After social, medical and union dues one finds themselves uncomfortably crawling home with an average of less than $400…


Most times what guests pay for a night stay is exactly what a worker gets for a week’s pay… Is it just me? I’m no mathematician but the maths seems sooo off…

These hotels have their ever-rising rates, and they still find time to “short” their staff.

Cost of living rising now more than ever and the government, the union and the hotel association finds themselves more at war and playing games with the stakeholders’ livelihoods over the stance on vaccines.

Who’s really there to demand raises for the staff? Just look at management living lavishly whilst their work is sitting in front of computers simply making schedules for the next work week ahead.


How can we call this our main industry and the ones who bust their asses are basically treated as the minority here?


Every year these hoteliers rejoice on the FACT of record-breaking profits being made and they wouldn’t even bat an eye at the real winners toiling the soil to keep them going…

In closing, I’ll just simply say to cut the pie properly, you don’t have to fill my belly but at least make sure we as workers are at least satisfied and treated well and remunerated properly…


The government need to take the mantle up and send auditors into these hotels and check the books for missed taxes and hidden service charge that belongs to the hard-working people of this country…


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  1. Worker I feel for you. What you describe seems so unfair. This then means you would get better compensation in the government system than the private. It should not be this way considering the many concessions the hotel sector get. Your work place sounds like a high end hotel . How in god’s earth do they expect employee buy in and excellence if they don’t reward you properly? This has to change

    • @Tenman…this is nothing new, for the Nation’s main Industry. You can research, as far back as the OUTLET and Tim Hector to CARIBARENA and the blogs there when the debate’s were raging about diversifying the economy.
      While no one has the right(s) to determine how anyone, companies etc invest their finances, these investors are using the Nations resources, and our leaders, negotiators, must bring home better deals, whereby worker’s such as this writer with whom you’re empathizing with will not have to feel, like #da #New #Slave in our Main Industry.

      By the way, have your friend Barrett(spelling) who built next to Devil’s Bridge by quarrying all those limestone, shale, stone to assist in making that Resort exquisite…

      A…I hope his workers are some of the better paid in the industry, since, his properties are some of those allegedly making huge profits! No? Yes? U innah de kno!

      B…that beautiful, one of a kind, #Restroom made from four(4) wild tamarind tree post on each corner, wrapped around with several yards of black, yellow, red, blue and white fabric to give the visitors, workers etc some form of privacy? My memory says, building a first class restroom with first class amenities was reported to be a part of the negotiated deal(s) for Devils Bridge. Has this materialized, or COVID-19 put a hit on the restroom at Devils Devil’s Bridge too?

  2. You raise some very serious points, and they cannot be dismissed. This is a worker’s state and a worker’s government so the best interests of the working class must be protected at all times.

  3. When you are a slave and you do not know that you are a slave you will have unrealistic expectations.

    When you describe slavery and do not understand what you describe you are in bad shape.

    When you have a problem and so nothing about it and expect another to take your medication so you can be healed you are hallucinating.

    Always remember there are more that one to a viable solution.

  4. The workers in Antigua are accustomed to being treated like slaves. With all the low wage workers in America going on strike and using this time to put pressure on their employers to raise their pay and provide better work packages, these workers for the hotels in Antigua are begging for work instead of coming collectively and demand better pay. This was the time for them to demand better pay and they ran back to the plantation with happiness to receive low wages smh. Slavery never was over in the Caribbean and in life you have to let people bask in their now sorrows and hardship because at the end of the day they are the ones who allow the hotel industry to treat them like slaves. It’s just like how the politicians use the people and the people show love and dedication still to them is the same way the hotel proprietors are banking on low wages and hard work. It’s the workers own choice to take the table scraps in return for their hard work. They happy with it and content with still being in slavery.

  5. The union is doing nothing for us and there has to be something we can do to stop paying them cause without us they have no pay imagine at the hotel I work ur flat pay ,service charge and tips are added and then tax is taken out, that should not b, so sometimes one staff is payong 4 n 5 hundread in tax depending on ur total pay, that is crazy, and if u send in sick leave social security takes 4ever to pay u and they get our tax money every week, tax should only b taken out of ur flat pay, thay way we can see a little profit ,no one is fighting for us so we need to take a stand

  6. These union seems to me like they prefer workesr exposing theirselves to Delta Viariant than to have alittle more protection,, they playing politics and they know this is happening world wide also they know they will not win any case because the employer and unions should look for health and safety in the work places, Chester go and help the employees get their thift fund instead of playing politics with people”s life

  7. Reading that letter made my stomach sick.How could persons in Antigua be making less than $400 per week in 2021? I went to a Supermarket in 2019 in Antigua.The lady in front of me groceries rang up to over $700. So how could $400 per week be justified. Give me a damn break. They need to strike NOW!!

    • The workers can’t afford to shop at the store they work at

      I lived in Antigua for a few years and was disgusted at how unjust that country is, how badly it treats poor people and how corrupt your government is

    • Yes 300, 366, 359 etc people working so damn hard in rain and Sun . People are suffering I mean real sufferation . Can’t afford to eat properly, have to pay bus fair out of that to and from work. Lord God Almighty poor people are suffering and not because we are not working. We go out to work so hard and at the end of the week we can’t make a decent grocery shopping. But some people in this country behaving like everything nice. My salary is 366.00ec every week, I have rent , light, water, internet so my daughter can do her school work I have to choose which bill can wait so I can feed my children. The unions are useless they are affiliated with politics so they can’t fight against their party.

      • The unions are useless. They have no good track records. Workers of Half Moon Bay; No money yet, Workers of Stanford Development Company; No money yet, Jolly Beach Hotel Workers; No money yet and LIAT workers; No money yet. I wonder how many of them have already died without getting their money.

  8. “ Most times what guests pay for a night stay is exactly what a worker gets for a week’s pay”

    The guests are paying about $400 USD a night of not more. The average worker is making $400 EC (less than $150 USD).

    So it’s even more egregious than you say.

    Also this island is extreme expensive even for US standards and workers make half the US minimum wage, which is also abysmally low.

    You’re being robbed. You’re being cheated. Your government does not work for you. They are selling off your country’s riches to fatten their own bank accounts.

    Corporations paying little to no taxes so the average citizen can get slave wages in a thankless job?

    Wake up people

  9. Why are the unions doing nothing for their members? The only thing I see them doing is defending the lowest workers, the anti-vaxxers, totally useless. Kick out the leadership and get some who are prepared to fight for their members pay and safe working conditions.

    The big hotels here have taken out billions in profits over the years. If you saw how much they took out compared to how much they pay workers you would be shocked. During the pandemic the government should be demanding they pay a small amount back to their workers so the workers can stay home and not contract covid and should be demanding all businesses that use essential workers provide free child care. Where is the adequate sick pay, where are the secure contracts?

  10. The #comments are even more telling, than the letter!

    I don’t think the #concerns which the writer have, applies only to Antigua, Barbuda and REDONDA’s tourism industry. However, since Antigua, Barbuda and REDONDA’s tourism industry was one of the forerunners in the Caribbean, fixed the problem #geniuses(all political parties, Nationals, non-nationals) and stop complaining!
    The investors from Mill Reef to Royalton to Hodges Bay Club to Curtain Bluff, ain’t BLUFFING when it comes to their priorities, so, you take care of your priorities!

  11. Back in the 80’s hotel workers were the envy of the workforce, I wonder what went wrong. They use to make alot of money including some very large tips.

  12. Start your own company if you can do better. Very simple logic. If you arnt paid enough then do something about. Get a better job. The problem is most people are fundamentally lazy about trying to actually do better. They sit and complain in stress of going and risking thier own money . It doesn’t matter how much a hotel charges thier guest. The market dictates the price. If you. Wages are too low for you to survive then do something else. Go get a education , better yourself…. Too many people In the hotel industry drives down competitive prices … so instead of making beds or making meals for guests. Start your own bnb…. If you suceed the weeks th is yours. If you. Fail. Do something else’s. Just don’t sit by and expect handouts for otherwise minimum wage job jobs

    • Read what you write. Can someone start a business, go to school, get a better job with no money? They are struggling to buy food with what they make. Get another job where? This is Antigua and not North America.

    • Sir read what u write having education does not mean better prospects education cost money which people don’t have …..starting up own business yes but u still need capital aka 💰money

    • You De Man DARG today! That is exactly right. The problem is not lazy, they are just MIS-educated. Try and have some understanding and give them some love

  13. Was it your career goal to be a housekeeping or bar tender ? None of those jobs require anything above a down syndrome IQ so what kind of salary you want ? There is a reason there are no Levis and Nike factories in Antigua but you all glad to wear them. Look up what they pay their staff Get a life bozo.

    • How did levi’s and Nike factories enter this conversation??? 🤔are u saying that bartender and house keepers deserve to be under paid because they are not educated enough by your standards??? Its people like u why the world can’t be better

  14. I understand the points made in this peace, however, IT IS THE GOVERNMENT WHO CONTROL THE MINIMUM WAGE IN THIS COUNTRY. It has been $8.20 since 2015 (I think). It has not changed for six (6) long years.

    The government is WELL aware of the movement of COST OF LIVING on an annual basis but what do they do? A BIG FAT NOTHING.

    The government really believes the employer ‘is going to be looking out for the employee over THEIR PROFITS? Really?

    It starts with the MINIMUM WAGE but the government try to stifle these discussions because I suspect that their campaign financing (the sitting government) and other benefits they may enjoy will be withdrawn.

  15. There are several issues in regards the hotel industry that needs to be highlighted for people who understands. Majority of employees are considered Tip workers. Which means they get the negotiated salary +plus gratuities. For some reasons plenty employees are not certified to be promoted. Union’s don’t negotiate benefits as not dues (health insurance, retirement savings etc). Union’s don’t encourage their members to get into management. By the way no business in this world will pay you money that is not negotiated. The problems in the industry doesn’t lies only with the hoteliers.

  16. Hotel workers in the Bahamas have some of the nicest houses and drive some of the best cars. Food in the Bahamas is just as or more expensive than Antigua.
    Unless the government in Antigua sets a minimum wage nothing is going to change. You see, Antigua has a lot of non nationals who are in Antigua to work so they will work no Mather what you pay them.
    If the Antiguans won’t accept the low salaries, the hotels will be more than happy to hire non nationals. The Bahamas doesn’t have this problem as even though I don’t agree with how some non nationals are treated, the non nationals can’t compete with the natives for jobs. If is so hard to get a work permit that most workers from other Caribbean countries are working there illegally, mostly as domestics and gardeners. The Bahamas voted out their government recently. No government ever serves more than one term.

    • DC the Bahamas? They have more of an issue with especially illegal immigrants that A&B. Recall some years ago when a hotel chain there fired all its unionized staff (see Sandals Accused Of ‘Union Busting’ With Threatened Closure) . IN 2019 hotel workers took industrial action, demanding wage increases see Strong progress’ made in labour negotiations with hotel union Busines December 11, 2019 by Natario McKenzie. Seems to me the difference is the willingness or workers and the Union to stand up. Also note they have an advantage we don’t in terms of their nearness to a major source market (Gives them better negotiation power)

  17. Wages need to mirror the Cost of Living in Antigua and Barbuda.The Cost of Living is very high. While wages are very low in many areas.

  18. Factually all Countries in the OECS have minimum wages. So do Wadadli. All wages in the hotels are negotiated and these employees are representatives by Unions. Some of the workers have their own homes and drive fancy cars in the Wadadli also. Wadadli may have its faults but plenty people run to it to make lives better for themselves and family. It’s a blessed place to live. We are caring and welcoming people especially to our brothers and sisters across the region. The Bahamas authorities don’t give a damn about anyone from other Caribbean countries.

  19. And we seek Foreign investment to save us. Never happen. For Antigua to excel it must grow organically or our people will remain the slave class. Take note how government focus on a vision of wealthy foreigners being served by us. Their mis-use of the term and definition of an economic zone with excessive concessions for OTHER excludes US. What we need is an economic zone in Johnson Village, All Saints, Bendals, Grays Farm and Villa et al. All them crooks get CIP and the Hospital still need a wheelchair ramp in the back parking lot. The Unions have bought into the idea of kissing up to the FI. They need more dues and that’s it. My friend, seek self improvement and sufficiency. Come up with something, work with others, stay on the grind….VOTE for people who have YOU in their interest and don’t stop asking questions. I wish you well.

  20. Dont worry, soon money will be of no benefit to men !! When the wrath of God sill be pour out on us…

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