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The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) has refuted the suggestions of some labour professionals, regarding discussions on labour relations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a press release on Friday, the ABWU noted the assertions of some individuals, that the union expressed an interest in making amendments to, or suspending provisions of the country’s labour code, specifically with regards to the application of severance payments.

The union made it clear that this information was not factual, and neither were claims that they had agreed to any new legislation that would seek to undermine the rights of their membership or to create financial hardship to them.

The union, instead, called on the government to establish an unemployment fund, that would be used to mitigate periods of economic crisis that may result from workers being sent home for periods of over a month. 

These funds would also be made readily available to workers, in the event of bankruptcy, redundancy, termination without cause or cessation of business. 

The union also implored the government, to create equity/severance legislation to ensure that monies would be secured in an escrow account and managed by a tripartite committee. 

This, according to the union, would guarantee workers’ security.

Calls to the ABWU for further comment proved futile.  

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