Agriculture workers temporarily relocated

Agriculture Extension Division workers have been temporarily relocated to the boardroom of the P.D.O. building on Valley Road while their workplace is being sanitized.

The decision was made following this week’s meeting with Ministry of Agriculture officials.

On May 11, more than a dozen disgruntled workers at the Agriculture Extension Division abandoned their posts to protest against unsanitary working conditions.

The disgruntled workers complained that the dilapidated conditions of the old P.D.O. building that houses the Agricultural Extension Division are unsanitary.

The placard-carrying employees lamented the broken and inadequate complement of furniture, poor bathroom conditions and mold were also major problems the government workers claimed they face daily.

On Wednesday, the Agriculture Extension Division issued a statement indicating that due to the temporary dislocation of its staff, services offered to the general public would be temporarily disrupted.

They did not give any information on when services will return to normalcy.

Joan Peters, the president of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association, said that she was informed that the staff was moved to the boardroom, however, no further information was given to her.

Peters added that she has not been able to get any information from those in authority on the latest decision. She could not tell how long the cleanup will take and who will be doing the work.

Workers complained to OBSERVER media that the building leaks when it rains, the toilet bowls are not firmly attached to the floor, that there are broken tiles throughout the building and that the mold is causing some to get sick.

The workers said they were forced to take action following several attempts to get relief. One protesting worker stated that verbal and written complaints were lodged, and, in 2012, letters were written to public works, the ministry of agriculture and the permanent secretary, but the situation has worsened.

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