Minister calls for intervention of Labour Commissioner in ABS matter


Information minister Melford Nicholas has written the office of the Labour Commissioner asking it to intervene in the ongoing industrial action at ABS.

In his letter dated December 22, 2018, Nicholas reiterates that his ministry had no sight of the issues which led to the action nor was he told since the action commenced.

He called on the office of the commissioner to intervene and bring the parties together as soon as practicable.

The strike has cripple many areas of the company’s operations but is most evident in the news department where managers have had to do the work of reporters.

Staff say they will continue to strike for better treatment and better working conditions.

The minister insists that disciplinary action taken against two staff members is the reason for the industrial action.

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  1. Lol lol wait wait is this the same clown talking about observer cant be ,u cant even run your neck of the woods but u jumping in people business……and y would the alp align radio station 9 something. Something fm have segments sponsored by state insurance this is wrong gaston please address this please only in antigua you have stuff like this

    • I don;t know how you can compare a government institution where the minister is only the final person responsible with a private sector company where the shareholders and the managers are one and the same and they ran their company into the ground and were trying to fled the scene leaving creditors and staff with an empty shell. That is a crime by itself. It is called FRAUD. Swindling people out of their money. And then hiding behind the law that shareholders are only accountable and liable up to their share capital. Which Usually is just $10,000.00. Big scam if you ask me.

  2. Mansoor dealt with them much harder. Perhaps that is what Melford needs to do. Just transfer them nto fines or Clare Vue as PR officers. Do not let the tail wag the dog. Do not let the inmates run the asylum. Ralph has already lead them astray. When they first stroked for better working condition the minister responded and did some quick renovation with the promise that they will get a new facility soon. The new facility has now been approved by Cabinet. But the thing is they just do not like to be pushed to performance by Earna-Mae. They like the looseness that they head before. Un-accountability of their time on the job. But getting paid for it. That is actually a standard operation practice in the entire government service. Time and time again you hear politician talking about productivity in the Public Sector, but non of them will do anything about it. Afraid for what I don’t know. Even the union bosses are starting to talk about it on labour day in their addresses. It is just a waste of our tax payers’ monies. And the sad thing is you do have some dedicated ones that get judge the same. But I hope they keep doing what they do. If I may make a guess, from every 10 public servants only 4 of them is worth their paycheck.

    • That what happen when the politician give jobs in exchange for votes to those who can’t do the job, and its years these ABS staff have been crying out for help, Those in the kitchen feel the heat, you think its easy when you work hard and the politician faithful come with big salaries and just lime on the job always out, and those who work hard is struggling.

    • It’s like you left your brain, sense and sensibility on the sideline. How can the minister continue to claim ignorance when he made a series of promises when put on notice? Give me a break! All to the Erna-Mae, she’s as incompetent as they come and useless. Scotia Bank, Dynamics, Church Choir, and now ABS all have her in common. She is one big old mess!

      • Strange you say that she is incompetent, when under her leadership it is clear that ABS is much better in every sense of the word. Much better programs and we even now have HDTV. You guys just do not love change. You like to leave things as they are. No progress whatsoever. Look how a little group of managers still keeps the station running. No thanks to you guys who strike.

      • Some don’t like Erna-Mae because she demands a days work for a days wages. She demands productivity, and that is what the Government wants from her. Is that wrong?

    • Since this issue plagues the public sector, have we ever considered looking at the root cause? Is it possible that low wages, poor working conditions, mass disrespect and no value for employees may be a cause? Do you give your absolute best when the other end of the equation is atrocious?

      Do you like working through the stench of sh*t? Maybe it is time to address the cause. People who are properly appreciated tangibly and otherwise tend to be more productive and flexible.

      If you pay someone a POS salary, you cannot be surprised if you get POS service. What EMPLOYERS put in, is what hey are entitled to GET OUT.
      Enough with the high-handed approach; we are all humans.

      • You know I keep hearing how poor the salary of public servants is. But then I wonder why so many people run to work in the public sector. And you know what I found. The benefits they have is second to none. And they are not held to any performance. Most of them actually have a second job to make up for them so called small salary. When they have worked for 10 years they are entitle to a pension of which they have not contributed. They have more sick leave and pay than the private sector. They have more vacation leave than in the private sector and they pay 1% less in Social Security. And at retirement age they cash in two pensions. One from government and one from Social Security. And when you really look at the dollar difference in the private sector they are much better off in the end. So I do not buy it that salaries are low and therefore they will give bad service. They chose for a lower salary because of the many benefits and the lack of being hold accountable for performance. In the private sector if you do not perform you are out. In the public sector it does not matter. You will get paid anyway. The IMF came and pushed UPP to implement the Public Sector Transformation Program. They funded it to the tune of $10Million dollars. They had all these consultants working towards it and it never got implemented. Why? Because the politicians know that it would mean a lot of layoffs. Because staff would have to be evaluated every quarter and based on that people would have to be sent home for non-performance. One day I hope one politician will have the balls to put these things in place.
        I do agree with improvement of working conditions that is sadly lacking not only at ABS but almost every government building. And what is sad about ABS is that the government pays the landlord over $40K each month for that building. And he has for years now refused to do any maintenance on the building. That kind of money could be used to repay a mortgage for a building that size. But who know who is getting a kick-back from it.

        • Let me help you with the Public sector reform, the same woman who was over that is the same woman who is giving a messenger 2500 a month to sit and watch TV. The same woman who has wrecked the office of national school meals and the training Division. As outsiders u sit and say this and that about government workers but what you fail to inquire is the treatment we get. As for benefits the only benefits u get is if you happen to be in a top position, they are individuals working like dogs. Hardly have clean bathrooms and running water

          • The woman I refer to was from St. Lucia and was hired by the World Bank and paid for by the World Bank. And yes I agree some of the working conditions that some sections of the public sector work under are below any standard. But guess what who you think is responsible for the upkeep of government buildings. The same public servants from Public Works. And guess what they fail to do their job. And why do public servants have to wait that many years before they say and do something. I believe be cause they are politically motivated. Under certain governments they are very quiet.

        • The owner of the building should be responsible for the upkeep. What is the owner? Strikers should focus in him (her?) and demand he (she) upkeep the place, pronto!

    • It’s time to fire those who are not productive. Let them go into the private industry and they won’t last a week, unless they learn to produce.

  3. Actually can the Minister make up his mind? If he had no sight of the issues beforehand, how is he so adamant that the cause is disciplining two staff members? And that got other departments and the main office to join in solidarity? Who are these two employees? They must be the BEST thing out if they are able to get near Ministry-wide support.

    That does not sound plausible to me. But it is clear that the Minister has pre-chosen what he believes is the case from whatever source he got. Having not met with the staff, I am not sure he is even in a position to make that determination.

    So, given the Minister’s stance, I am glad he is asking for someone hopefully neutral to intervene.
    I wish he would stop speaking to the media to bash the workers WITHOUT even meeting them. So disrespectful! As if to say you inferior beings are not worth my ear. Even the DULL and the IGNORANT have a right to be heard and LISTENING is part of the job of a Minister, no???

    You need basically zero qualifications to be a Minister. Holding an office does NOT make you better than the people you are put to serve. It would be nice to live to see the day when politicians are able to get off their high horse and recognise this.

    The handling of this situation is so poor and unfortunately seems to be making it drag out!

    • In this case the minister is more than qualified. Having been COO of the Cable & Wireless operation and also having been a shop steward for many years of the AWU. So he know a lot about industrial disputes,

    • The Minister IS fully qualified to handle this, and is absolutely capable. He’s the right man for the job.

  4. Poor ABS and it’s workers. ALWAYS being treated as someone’s personal property.
    The real workers, overwhelmed and underpaid, while the management and importees live high off de hog?
    From de outset, they knew trouble was and will always be in that camp with that individual as head yet they did nothing and is still not doing anything?
    Why? Is it a case of “something/…one got a hold on me?” Too bad if so, cause for the sake of one everyone suffers?

    • The People’s Government is demanding productivity. The day of just sitting around is over. ABS has some very hard working and productive employees in both staff and management, but there are those who hardly know if they are coming or going. Erna Mae was put there to clean up the place and insist on productivity and professionalism. She can be tough, and for that reason she is not liked by some, but the People in general are glad to see this new emphasis, and want to see it in every department of the public sector. Erna-Mae herself is one hard worker, totally into her job. Under her leadership, ABS has improved greatly in recent months. People watch and people listen, and they like what they see and what they hear. ABS is a real asset to our Nation.

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