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when it makes a wrong decision, as it did when Antigua’s CIP was opened up to some Iraqi’s, a decision which was later rescinded.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