By Carlena Knight
Antigua and Barbuda has made history once again as the twin-island state is expected to host the International Transport Workers Federation Latin America and Caribbean Regional Committee conference in 2022.
This was revealed by General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), David Massiah, who is presently at the two-day meeting in Brazil.
“Antigua and Barbuda, [of all] the Caribbean countries for the first time will be hosting this very important Latin America and Caribbean meeting for the International Transport Workers Federation in 2022. This is a big deal for us, this has never been done. This meeting has always been held somewhere in Latin America, and for the first time, under the leadership of the ABWU We have been able to convince the leadership that we could host such a meeting in the Caribbean.”
In addition to that selection, Massiah has been appointed as head of a three-year project which will impact both Antigua and Barbuda and the region.
The project will target transport workers such as tour providers and taxi drivers.
“The meeting that I am at in Brazil also sought to ratify a three-year program which is being undertaken by the ITF which is run by myself, which is called the Caribbean Tourism Project where we look at transport workers that work close to the cruise ships such as the tour providers and so on, not just in Antigua, but throughout the Caribbean. I have been given the opportunity to lead that project which has started.”
Massiah, upon his return, is expected to hold a meeting next month to further launch the program.
The committee assesses the issues and challenges facing transport workers mainly from the airport, port and transport board in both Latin America and the Caribbean.
They then seek to rectify the issues in the best possible manner.
One of those issues is the recent devastation of The Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian.
“The meeting took into consideration the recent devastation that took place in the Bahamas as well as throughout the other territories, and we will be issuing a resolution from the conference that will be seeking to give assistance to our brothers and sisters in The Bahamas at this time.”