PM Backpedals On Sunday Work Decision

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Less than a week after it made a decision that would affect the pay of Sunday workers, the government says it has now changed its mind.
The Cabinet took a decision last week by making it clear that Sundays are NOT treated like a holiday and therefore reducing the pay for Sunday workers.
The plan was to amend the law at the next session of Parliament in order to avoid any ambiguity. 

However, Browne told is radio programme on Saturday that “I think we will have to review this decision.”

He said his government was not afraid when it makes a wrong decision, as it did when Antigua’s CIP was opened up to some Iraqi’s, a decision which was later rescinded.

He said the amendment to the law will now apply to those decribed as essential under the law.

“Perhaps what we have to do is maybe to focus on essential workers and to amend the Essential Services Act so that the entities that fall under that, and again this is not definitive but I am just saying here to the public that the government will have to review that decision and perhaps make the amendments to the essential services act.”

He blamed the Antigua Workers Union (AWU) for using the provision in the law to make mischief.

“You have a situation where the AWU headed by Chester Hughes, they have been very mischievous. nothing ah guh on for them so what they are trying to do now is to create mayhem within the society,” Browne said.

The prime minister said he was referring to a decision by the union to go after the Antigua Port Authority.

“He has been to a number of entities including the Antigua Port Authority to say to them that they now have to increase the pay for their workers to the extent that they port will have to be paying over two and a half times  to workers on Sundays. Now that will create a major financial problem for them,” Browne said.

He also warned that increased salaries could lead to inflation.

“Clearly if we do not control salaries and wages it will be inflationary. employees may want to push for substantial increases but they have to understand they we have to maintain an economic equilibrium, one in which inflation is kept to a minimum,” Browne who is also finance minister said.

“Clearly there are legitimate reasons for people to get their double time on a Sunday and the intent is not to eliminate that so I think we have to review that decision,” he added.

Government’s decision led to an instant backlash for residents who have always enjoyed more pay for working on Sundays

 

 

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17 COMMENTS

  1. This man as the Leader of the Nation blames all others.When would you stand up and be counted like a real man.You and your Cabinet screwed up.Now you are blaming the Union.Shameful.You the people need to show those politicians who are really in charged.When they come a begging for your votes,next election.

  2. AWU making trouble again? If Sunday is a Holiday for the Chrisdtian community, then we’ll have to add in Saturday for the law observers (Jews and Adventists), then Friday for he Modlrmd. My God where will it all end? Nobody want to work. We getting too religious, or what?

  3. and by the way Gaston, the Canadian woman is actually Trinidadian and under Carixom has a right to work here. But I am sure you already knew this but it was more politically expedient to say she is Canadian.

  4. I have a difficult office job where the working days are Monday – Friday. Can I ask my boss to change one of the days so I can work on Sunday and get double pay? It’s ridiculous of course.

    No government in the world should force companies to pay double wages on any certain days, not even holidays. If people don’t want to work for basic wages on certain days then companies don’t have to pay, very basic concept.

    Let the free market prevail. The government should not get involved in private sector pay decisions that companies make.

    • What!!!! companies decide! Do you know there are companies who provide drinking water because the law say the have to? tarl man this some crazy shit. remember slavery was part of companies.

  5. If Sundays are treated as holidays, why cant Saturdays be treated the same since Saturdays is also a rest day gor the Lord?Lets get real, Sundays are not bank holidays, why should workers be paid double time for that day…. In my view if Sundays are considered as holidays then lucky us, we have 52 days holidays along with the public bank holidays….. Hmmmm that one me to scratch my head!!

    • Saturday nor Sunday is a holiday. Some business place like banks accounting firms and some government offices only operate on a Monday to Friday schedule but if there work to be done that could not be done on those days then Saturday and Sunday comes in to the mix and those who go out to work on those two days should be paid a different amount than if it was a regular working day.

    • If and if and if leave antiguan traditions alone ….. my religion we worship on Wednesdays

  6. Absolutely ridiculous! These laws in Antigua make it very hard for business owners to run successful businesses in Antigua. The prime minister wants people to invest money and start businesses but yet all of the laws here really don’t give any incentives for people to want to open up businesses here. Time for some changes to these laws!

  7. Not quite sure what was promised as far as Sunday is concerned, but let me make it absolutely clear to all!
    Sunday is the first day of the week! Saturday is the seventh day it’s the day the Lord rested after creating the Universe its the Sabbath. Sunday is clearly not a holiday!

  8. The simple solution to the pronlem is this. The work week comprises of 40hrs. If a worker is scheduled to work on a Sunday and that is part of the 40hrs and recieves two days off during the week no overtime is paid. However if said worker works on a Saturday or Sunday beyond a regular work week of 40hrs then overtime should be paid.

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