At the request of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel and Tourism Association, the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Public Safety & Labour, Steadroy Benjamin, on Tuesday 26th May convened a tripartite virtual meeting amongst Government Representatives, Employers Representatives and Representatives of Employees’ organizations. There were 20 stakeholders present at this important meeting.
A number of recommendations were presented for the meeting’s consideration including a recommendation to amend the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code to include the establishment of a definition of furlough in section C3, and the temporary suspension of some provisions of the Code. Those recommendation were rejected. As an alternative solution, the Honourable Minister indicated that he intends to lay before Parliament, a Bill to cover all regular provisions of the Law which will be applicable to all employment situations in Antigua and Barbuda during a State of Public Emergency.
All persons present agreed to the Minister’s suggestions. There were indications however that all matters pertaining to adjustments to collective bargaining agreements governing hospitality sector workers at this critical time in our country would be addressed in a bilateral forum between the individual employers and employees’ representatives.
The meeting ended with the strong commitment of stakeholders to work together for the common good of employees, businesses and the government to cope with the present situation in Antigua and Barbuda.