APUA brings former SEMBCORP workers on board

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The way has been cleared for seven former Sembcorp workers who were reportedly sent home because  they declined to sign an employment contract being offered by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), to become employees of the statutory corporation.
By the end of the business day, today, the workers will be signing an amended version of that said document, which will result in them becoming full time employees of the Water Division of APUA.
The resolution was arrived at on Wednesday, during a meeting at the Labour Department between the management of the statutory corporation and the Antigua  Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) which represents the group of workers.
President of the ABWU Esrome Roberts said the workers were advised to sign the offer letter and not the section outlining the confidentiality clause as this is to be reviewed by the management of APUA.
“This will be removed from the official letter of employment and it will also be removed from every employee at APUA and the union and the mangement of APUA will sit together and review the confidentiality clause,” Roberts said.
The union said it was uncomfortable with the wording of the confidentiality agreement which was embedded in the four page employment letter.
The ABWU was also unhappy with a section of the letter which read, “The terms and conditions of your employment shall be in accrodance with the existing Collective Agreement between the Antigua Public Utilities Authority and the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU)”.
“We felt that it was not the right of any employer to determine which unit will represent the workers, if that was to be so, let us consult as to how you determine that you go to which unit. By the Labour Code units are determined by employees through a petition process, all the employer has to do is to give recognition to that union,” the union official said.
The AT&LU is the recognised bargain unit for workers at APUA. Roberts said the ABWU will be consulting with its lawyers on the way forward.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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