An assessment will be conducted today of the ongoing repairs that were agreed upon following a meeting last Thursday among government officials, representatives of the General Post Office (GPO), the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU).
Services at the GPO ground to a halt last month when its staff walked off the job due to what they called the unsanitary conditions of the building.
The dispute resulted in Prime Minister Gaston Browne calling out the military to man the GPO after its staff refused to work.
PM Browne agreed to meet with the ABPSA, AT&LU and representatives of the GPO last week, however, to discuss a way forward.
In that meeting, the Ministry of Works committed to complete repairs to address the difficult working conditions identified by the workers weeks ago.
It was also agreed that proper health, safety and welfare standards would be immediately implemented to include air quality testing, the removal of mould and the improvement of physical aspects of the interior of the building.
Today’s assessment will review the progress of these efforts.
The Ministry of Works has also committed to long-term rehabilitation of the GPO including the complete repair of its roof which is badly damaged in some areas resulting in severe leaks in some parts of the building. The external drainage system will also be addressed.
In the meantime, the public can access some of the GPO’s services, such as the sale of stamps, at the Woods Branch and the Treasury. These services resumed last Friday.
From today, limited services will resume at the Civil Registry, Dockyard and All Saints.
The General Post Office Headquarters will accommodate the sale of stamps and will issue parcels and Registered Mail. This, however, will be subject to the review of the premises today.
Alternative office arrangements are being made so that other essential functions of the GPO such as mail-sorting and delivery, can be restored while the roof is repaired.