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AT&LU Says ABS Strike Was Sanctioned

Wednesday 23rd January, 2019-The Antigua Trades and Labour Union, bargaining agents for employees at ABS Radio and Television has dismissed statements made by the information and broadcasting minister that recent strike action by the staff at state media was not sanctioned by union officials.

Minister Melford Nicholas speaking on POINTE FM on Tuesday, revealed that before he had requested the intervention of the Labour Department in the matter, he had inquired of the general secretary and the president of the AT&LU whether the industrial action taken by ABS employees was a decision that was sanctioned by the executives. Both men reportedly said it was not sanctioned, which means that the industrial was illegal.

But when contacted for a response, the AT&LU General Secretary, Hugh Joseph highlighted that the union’s constitution speaks to the general secretary authorizing a strike. He added both he and President Wigley George were in discussion with the Officer, Ralph Potter and they were “fully aware of what was happening.”

Hugh Joseph acknowledges the minister at some point spoke to him asking whether the matter was taken to the executive. His response to Minister Nicholas was that the matter was not taken to the executive.  But the AT&LU general secretary is maintaining a pronouncement from the executive was not required.


In late December, some employees walked off the job in protest of several issues that were of concern. They included the treatment meted out to them by management; outstanding overtime and unsuitable working conditions, for which they were seeking redress.

Since then, several meetings were held at the Labour Department and involved employees, the union and the management of ABS Radio and Television. A report is being compiled by the Labour Department, based on the discussions that were held earlier this month.


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