PM Gaston Browne Unleashes on ABWU: ‘Hotel Workers Deserve More!’


Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently addressed the issue of inadequate wages for hotel workers in Antigua and Barbuda, emphasizing the need for fair compensation in the sector.

In detailed comments on Pointe FM over the weekend, Browne criticized the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) for their perceived failure to represent the interests of hotel employees effectively.

Discrepancies in Wages

Browne highlighted the stark disparity in wages between various sectors.

He pointed out that a cleaner with no specialized skills could earn $550 per week, while hotel workers, who often have more demanding roles, earn $500 per week.

Given that the hotel sector is the most lucrative in the country, generating 55% of the GDP, Browne argued that hotel workers should be better compensated.

Gain Sharing and Stakeholder Engagement

The Prime Minister proposed a solution involving the concept of gain sharing, where profits are more equitably distributed among employees. He suggested bringing together stakeholders, including the government, the Hotel Association, the ABWU, and other labor unions, to discuss and implement a more equitable remuneration package for hotel workers.

This approach aims to ensure that employees in the most profitable sectors receive fair wages.

Legislative Reforms and Wage Adjustments

Browne mentioned potential legislative reforms to address wage inequities, proposing a tiered wage system based on business turnover. For example, businesses with an annual turnover exceeding $5 million could be required to pay a minimum of $2,500 per month.

This reform would impact large supermarkets and other high-turnover businesses, ensuring that their workers also benefit from higher minimum wages.

Challenges in the Public Sector

The Prime Minister acknowledged the challenges faced by the public sector, which has become the employer of choice due to the low wages in the hotel sector.

Browne noted that the government had added 2,000 to 3,000 workers to the public sector in the last decade, but emphasized that this is not a sustainable solution.

He pointed out that many individuals prefer government jobs over hotel jobs due to the latter’s low pay and temporary contracts.

Criticism of ABWU

Browne was critical of the ABWU’s role in this issue, accusing them of turning a blind eye to the exploitation of hotel workers.

He alleged that some executive members of the ABWU had compromised their positions by accepting gifts and free meals from hoteliers, thus failing to provide proper representation for workers.

Browne also revealed that the ABWU collects over $3 million annually in union dues but has not effectively utilized these funds to benefit its members.

Call for Accountability and Action

The Prime Minister called on the ABWU to step up and fulfill their responsibility to protect and advocate for workers’ rights. He criticized the union for its partisan politics and lack of effective action in supporting hotel workers.

Browne emphasized that the government would step in to regulate and ensure fair wages in the absence of proper union representation.


Prime Minister Gaston Browne underscored the need for fair wages and better working conditions for hotel workers in Antigua and Barbuda. By calling for stakeholder engagement, legislative reforms, and accountability from unions, Browne aims to address wage disparities and ensure that workers in the most profitable sectors receive equitable compensation.

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  1. They are very bias, little to no justice for the workers and they take money from the hotelier/company. Waste of money and time! Maybe if you’re a family member or someone close to a representative you will get justice.
    They need to change most of the workers there starting from the top.

  2. A lot of these hotels abuse their workers. When you report the case/situation, the union representative will tell you they are wrong and tell you what it should be and after a meeting with the company, the union representative will agree with the company even when it is wrong and they know better. Why? Waste of money and time! They protect the companies not their workers.

  3. The companies should pay the union fee for their workers and not the workers because the union represent the companies and give them justice even when the company does unjust.

  4. I believe that the p minister and the government are the bias and wicked ones here , under this administration the allowed rob barett to import people from the Philippines for cheap labor and allowed the same barett to be running a modern day slavery ring with the same Philippines by paying them peanut money and still build a big apartment building to house them so he can subtract rent from the same peanut money he already paying them , gaston clown you’re a demon with a forked tongue in your mouth .

  5. Is the ABWU doing a good job for LIAT workers by insisting the are compensated the full amount owed to them. Is it not the Gaston Browne Government that is holding out on them wirh an offer of a measly 32%, while other Caribbean Shareholder Governments have stepped up to the plate and are satisfying their LIAT workers 100%.
    The ABWU is being criticized for not fighting for hotel workers but, at the same time, they are being villified for standing up for LIAT workers. What a twisted situation we are forced to endure in Anrigua and Barbuda. Damned if you and damned if you don’t! Lunacy.

  6. The hotels taking a page from the PM”s book. Look at the way he treating the former LIAT employees. Damn hypocrite the PM.

  7. Hon. Gaston Browne , thank you for exposing the Union. This has been going on for a long time. They cannot sue you because all the evidence will be exposed in the courts. Our Prime Minister knows how to take the bull by the horn and tame it. ABWU and UPP are HYPOCRITES.

  8. This useless PM who has failed to diversify the economy and continued to support a low skill low wage tourism sector is now complaining about low wages? The only jobs he’s created are maids and gardeners. This incompetence is intolerable; call the election now.

  9. Can someone find the clip where the PMcalled hotel workers lazy and overpaid at the time when Royalton was set to open and he spoke of his experience at resorts in the DR with similar workers.

  10. The Lunatic should address the meager salaries being paid to the employees at National Housing. He, himself stated that they are being underpaid while he, his god-daughter and his chosen few are siphoning millions from the projects and constructing $600k homes that cost $300k to family members and comrades. What he says about the Union surely sounds like he’s referring to AT&LU because they have been accused many times in the past, of cutting deals with some of the major business owners in Antigua.

  11. So on one hand you want to vilify the union as being responsible for low wages for hotel workers, but deny the LIAT workers (although long ago I have lost sympathy for them)their full compensation? The unions recommended a higher minimum wage that was objected to by this government.
    This idiot has no credibility and nothing he says is to be trusted.
    What are the unemployment numbers? Why does he hide them? Has he done anything of lasting value for Antigua and Barbuda?
    This attack on unions has an ulterior motive. You can just bet on that.

  12. Don’t forget Gaston buy lands less than market rate and turn around and sell for hundreds of percent of profit.

    He also put plenty in his son’s name like Barnacle Point and lands by Long Bay.

    Look what Gaston do to the former LIAT employees. Pensions not getting paid or on time. Carnival winners get a fake check and not getting paid. No money in Social Security. No money in Medical Benefits. We pay to register our vehicles every year but no money to fix the roads and when the vehicle get damage or mash up, we have to pay for all that not the negligent Antigua Barbuda Transport Board.

    This country all about kissing ass and getting what they want while the majority suffers.

    Gaston nothing but a “creative enricher” and a pure piece of shit.

  13. ask the line staff at St. James, Verandah, Pineapple, Jolly Beach, Royalton and many more how they feel about this and the junior managers that they wanna pay the bare minimum for carrying the bulk of the work while the top executives are always on their phones, eating, drinking, getting all the perks and do f*ck all. on another note the wages for the same job role in these hotels between black and white differs.
    slavery in disguise black people must not earn or depends on who you are!

  14. ^^^I would like to know why the Union is allowing hotels to split up our vacation days per pay period rather than pay the full amount of days owed when we go on vacation? ^^^

    ^^^Why is there a huge wage gap between white and black people working in the same role qualifications or not? It should be standard that employees get fair pay!!^^^

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