Antigua: Workers at state-owned media house on strike

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Antigua: Workers at state-owned media house on strike
Information Minister Melford Nicholas
Information Minister Melford Nicholas

(CMC) – Information Minister Melford Nicholas says workers at the state-owned Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) should be prepared to give “an honest day’s work” even as their strike action over working conditions and payment of overtime is expected to continue on Friday.

“I am very firm in my commitment that the government must be able to get its pounds of flesh for the services it has to provide. Persons who come to work for the station must be prepared to give an honest day’s work,” Nicholas said, noting that he was surprised at the decision of the workers to embark on industrial action.

The workers, represented by the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (ATLU), have gathered outside the ABS building calling for the outstanding payment of overtime arrears, working conditions, and other issues.

The workers met with the union earlier this week and agreed on the industrial action, noting that at a meeting last August with the minister and a senior government official, a commitment was made to make the payments.

“Staff got frustrated and decided we have to make our stand, so…we decided to strike to bring it back to the forefront,” a spokesman for the workers said.

Nicholas said while he is expected to meet with the senior executives of the ATLU on Friday, “there can be no conflict with respect to people cheating on the government’s time.

“What we will not tolerate is the level of indiscipline and certainly the level of time cheating that has been taking place,” he added.

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