As the world continues to come to grips with the pandemic- COVID19, the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association and the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union have joined forces in ensuing a fortnightly cash relief payment is made to employees, whose hotel, contribute to the ABHTA/ABWU Thrift Fund.
The Thrift Fund was established in 2010 and currently has seventeen (17) Resorts on Antigua that are contributors to the Fund. Both the ABHTA and the ABWU are Trustees of the Fund and have formed a joint agreement to release up to 50%, or a maximum of $3,840, of available funds to qualifying employees within the respective resorts. Starting April 10, 2020 employees will receive (via electronic funds transfer), EC$640 fortnightly for the next three months.
Vernon A. Jeffers, Snr, Chairman of the ABHTA stated that “We are facing unprecedented times, which calls for urgent action to help protect the welfare of as many persons as possible within the sector. Over the past two weeks, we have seen closures of the majority of Resorts on island with an estimated 3,600 employees now faced with a loss of income.”
David Massiah, General Secretary of the ABWU urged their members to remain positive “We want our members to have some measure of financial security during these times. About 80% of employees within the sector are single moms. Someone has to look out for them and I am happy that the Resorts that are contributing to the fund, can now work with us to make the funds accessible to as many of our members as possible.” Mr. Massiah went on to say “We are happy that ECAB is working with us to make this possible. We had to move very quickly to mobilize this and appreciate their work and that of all of the Human Resource and Accounts Departments on the properties”.
The first disbursement of funds will be on April 10 and will continue every two weeks for the next three months. Employees who are interested in accessing their Thrift Fund should contact their respective employers Human Resource Departments. For any specific questions on how the funds will be distributed, please contact the ABHTA at 462.0374/4928 or firstname.lastname@example.org