Widespread exploitation of hotel workers-PM

PM Browne speaks during parliament (file photo)

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is accusing some hotels of widespread exploitation of workers.

He told the Lower House today that at EC $1400 some hoteliers still think that their employees are making too much money.

“That’s how much workers at solid waste and CBH makes. And today in the 21st-century, hotels that are making millions of dollars are arguing that their employees who are making $1300-$1400 a month are over paid.”

The Prime Minister said some of the hotels were trying to reduce the living standards in Antigua by comparing to wages earned in Jamaica and Dominican Republic.

Browne says while he is prime minister, workers will not be “utilised as commodities for exploitation to maximize the profits of hoteliers.”

He also told Parliament that exploitation was a reason why indigenous Antiguans no longer wanted to work in the hotel sector.

“There are no pensions, some of them work for 30 and 40 years and they have to go home with no pension,” the prime minister stressed.

He said he would rather “go home” than to preside over that type of inequity.

Browne said Sandals Antigua is one of the main offenders when it comes to exploitative practices adding that its pending closure has opened up a number of issues “for us to discuss as a government.”

Browne said he was shocked to learn recently how indigenous Antiguans are being maginalised at the luxury resort.

According to the prime minister, the senior managers of Sandals comprise of all expatriates.

He said of the 33 middle managers only two are Antiguans and Barbudans.

Out of 50 supervisors, Browne revealed that only 15 are citizens of the twin-island state.

“The hotels who should be helping to create space for our graduates are filling those positions with expatriates,” he stressed.

Browne was speaking during an amendment to the Investment Act which will set out penalties for hotels who close without adequate notice and consultations.


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  1. Only now u know that these hotels were treating workers horrible Mr Prime Minister? Now the s&$t it the fan you coming to peoples rescue when you admitted you knew all along. GASTON HONESTLY WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP PLAY POLITICS WITH OUR LIVES. YOU LOVELL AND ALL THE REST POLITICIANS NEEDS TO GO IN EXILE AND KET ANTIGUA BREATHE.

  2. Ermmm…how did these ‘expatriates’ obtain work permits? Did Sandals grant them too. Only now the other shoe has dropped that you know that 80% of Sandals workers are Jamaicans? Why should we be giving them concessions to create employment for non nationals.

  3. But is who approve all the foreigners work permit? Gaston you have the power to kick out all of Sandals top management if you want, but you wont will you. Just hot air!

  4. So what does he plan to do about it??
    Did these foreign workers give themselves work permits?

  5. Sandals paid better than St James, Verandah, Pineapple, Galley Bay… A maid at Sandals get more service points than the maids work at the mentioned resorts above.

  6. Sandals paid better than some of the popular hotels in Antigua… A maid at Sandals get more service points than the maids work at these popular hotels… Right down to their flat pay.
    It is true, when it comes to hiring staffs at Sandals Antiguans get left behind.

  7. The same exploitation is happen at the mighty jumby bay where just the executives paychecks are worth it

  8. Its sad that we should be asking the PM these questions….. What we should be doing is asking him if part of the Concessions granted was for them to bring in technical staff for the repairs who will end up staying here on work permits issued by his administration……..

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