Executive chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) Vernon Jeffers has expressed shock over union threats to take legal action against the body.
The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) has pledged action in an attempt to stop hotels and other hospitality businesses sending unvaccinated workers home.
A letter was delivered to the ABHTA requesting the body tell its members to immediately cease and desist from sending home unvaccinated employees and compelling them to pay for Covid tests before the parties had reached an agreement.
The union said while it appreciates the need for all staff to be inoculated it is also important that the rights of all workers – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – be protected. It also claimed the ABHTA’s move contravenes the country’s constitution.
The letter said if the union “cannot get a commitment to its request, it would consult its attorneys with a view of instructing legal action for a determination by the courts”.
But Jeffers, when contacted by Observer, said the parties had been having internal discussions over the matter and he “was surprised” the matter was in the media before the association got a chance to respond.
The union’s General Secretary David Massiah declined to comment further at this time.