Press Release

Less than favorable working conditions dominate remarks at ABWU Labour Day Rally

Published On: May 09, 2024

Antigua.News - Workers’ achievements and their fight for labor rights and better working conditions took the spotlight this morning, as the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union and the United Progressive Party joined forces for the annual Labor Day events.

Labor Day, also recognized as International Workers Day, is a public holiday observed in numerous nations worldwide, acknowledging the valuable contributions of workers and their labor unions.

Senator David Massiah, the General Secretary of ABWU, emphasized that the workers in Antigua and Barbuda are worthy of better treatment.

“Today we march to the streets of St Johns to stand up for those public sector workers who are given less than favorable conditions to work in. The government cannot look about anything. The police stations are dilapidated, the government offices are running down…”, Senator Massiah said

Sen.David Messiah

He said public sector workers have been waiting for months for “just” payments, yet the government workers received salary increases without any form of discussions

Senator Massiah said Prime Minister Gaston Browne continue to remove the rights of the working class.

“The time has come for our leadership to realize that we need to put in place that severance protection fund…” he said

Senator Massiah emphasized the need for Antigua and Barbuda to reach a point where individuals can achieve financial independence without relying on government assistance.

He urged public servants to unite and provide mutual support in their pursuit of improved working conditions.

“We are asking on this Labour Day that we will march and sound our defining voices and fight for the workers of LIAT. That we will fight for public servants to get a just pay, that they will have better working conditions,” he said

Meanwhile Kem Riley, the President of the ABWU said the time is now, for workers to show solidarity and continue to advocate for fair treatment and respect

“Let us not forget Labour Day serves as a reminder of workers rights and to highlight the ongoing struggles of economic justice for all. We have to recognize the valuable contribution of workers to society and strive towards a more inclusive world for everyone”,  he said,

Members from the United Progressive Party were present as well, demonstrating their support.

Jamale Pringle, the Political Leader of the UPP, emphasized that the party will consistently show solidarity with the Antigua and Barbuda Worker’s Union and advocate for worker’s rights.

Pringle highlighted the importance of recognizing that there is still progress to be made for workers, stating, “As we commemorate workers, we must also acknowledge the ongoing journey ahead. It is crucial for us, as workers, to secure our position in the labor force.”

“I am committed to stand with the ABWU to ensure we improve the working conditions in Antigua and Barbuda. I will ensure that we will bring a bill to parliament to protect workers severance. We have started the discussions and we a looking,” he added

The theme for the observance of this year’s Labour Day activities is being held under the theme Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, Ensuring Social Justice and Work for All