The newly elected Executive Members of the Antigua & Barbuda Trade Union Congress (TUC), along with its nine affiliate member organizations have made a commitment to uphold the institution’s motto: Empowering the Labour Movement for Sustainable Development.
The year 2022 was not without unexpected challenges, but these have given way to new possibilities and hope. Having emerged from an eventful year, the Trade Union Congress would like to extend a note of gratitude to its Affiliate Members and social partners for staying the course throughout 2022. As we enter into a new year, we anticipate more meaningful dialogue and better working conditions for all the members within our Affiliates.
The Trade Union Congress wishes to thank the working population of Antigua and Barbuda for their unwavering dedication towards the development of this our twin island state. We are well aware of the sacrifices that you have made to ensure that the departments you are assigned to continue to function even though at times the basic necessities have not been provided. We are also well aware that the benefits prescribed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement have not been honored.
The Trade Union Congress wishes to voice its disappointment with the Government for its lack of urgency towards improving the wages of public sector employees, many of whom have upgraded their skills but have not been compensated. These employees continue to struggle to survive on meager salaries while the cost of living continues to skyrocket in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Antigua and Barbuda Trade Union Congress is also aware of the challenges our Affiliates in the public sector are facing with regards to the ongoing negotiation which is now outstanding for over five years. This issue was addressed in a letter to the Chief Establishment Officer dated December 6th, 2022. To date, we have not received a response.
As a Trade Union Congress, we stand resolute with all workers in the fight for equality, fair treatment and justice in the workplace. We stand ready to demand that the laws that govern the labour force are adhered to, and we pledge to work with all entities to enhance productivity and ensure that workers are compensated fairly.
The TUC calls on all unions and workers’ organizations that are not affiliate members to register so that we can stand united against any challenges that may present themselves. Only a strong TUC will be able to lobby for change in legislation when it comes to workers’ rights. We, therefore, make a clarion call to our sister/brother unions to stand in solidarity with the Trade Union Congress for the betterment of the workers in Antigua and Barbuda.
Sis. Garolyn Cornelius- Hector
General Secretary- Antigua and Barbuda Trade Union Congress