Union Says Respect Employees Right To Worship On Sunday

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Chester Hughes

Common ground has been struck between the legislative body and Employees Associations around the twin island state, as it relates to the amendments being proposed to the Holiday (Amendment) Bill 2019.

 

The second consultation was held on Thursday with the presence of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, the Antigua and Barbuda Trades and Labour Union, Police Welfare Association, Employers Federation, Hotel Management Association, Christian Council, Public Service Commission among others.

 

Representatives present indicated that they were not opposed to the amendments being made, but emphasized that the rights of the workers as it pertains to worshiping on a Sunday must be protected.

 

Deputy General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, Chester Hughes, suggested that it should be recorded that employees who have to work on a Sunday, be given one weekend off in a month to worship.

 

Hughes added that while his organization is comfortable with the amendments made, issues pertaining to compensation must be worked out, during negotiation meetings with the respective bodies.

 

Minister Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin said he is pleased that a common consensus has been reached, as the topic being discussed is one of great importance to the country.

 

Benjamin noted that further discussions will be held with the churches on Tuesday 15th October, followed by another meeting with employers and employees on Thursday October 18th to finalize all recommendations so that the process can move forward.

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6 COMMENTS

    • If you were indeed knowledgeable about this things you would have asked for your seventh day too. Am here wondering why the first day of the week, a working day, should be debated about being a holiday. Indeed it’s coming to pass, (the so called Sunday law). The Adventist gets every Saturday because it’s the right day to worship.

      • Give me a break!!!! Who determines it’s the right day! I am really surprised that the union is asking for one weekend off.

        The right to worship is not about Adventist or Sunday Worship. If I am a Sunday worshipper, then I should be allowed to worship every Sunday. The Adventist people can be schedule off on a Saturday while others are off on a Sunday. It then benefits everyone.

        We cannot force our religious belief on anyone. Government is there to protect and cater for us all. It cannot be one sided.

        I can understand the need for us to move towards a 7 day work work and maybe even a 24 hours society but we cannot give any group of worshippers preferential treatment.

  1. As we are a growing and developing democracy we will have to learn from the more developed countries to not mix religion with politics. It is wrong to give in to one group of the nation and to leave out another. Yes we are founded on Christian principals, but kid you not. Many that get Christmas holidays don’t even see the inside of a church. Unlike Muslims who I must say take their religion much more serious. And Antigua has a growing population of Muslims. So in time to come they will demand observing their religious holidays and than comes the Hindu and the list goes on. That is why places like Trinidad and Surinam have so many public holidays. Cause every ras and religion would claim their own day. It therefore becomes very expensive for businesses to have to acknowledge all these holidays. I know they say you cannot discriminate base on religion, but if my business needs to stay open on lets say Saturday or Sunday I will only hire persons that upfront have no issues working on those days.

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