AT&LU threatens to act

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The impasse between the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) and the management of the Agriculture Development Corporation (ADC) has deepened, despite an indication from the board that one of the  matters plaguing the workers was addressed.
The union is disputing this and has threatened to act if changes are not made.
The workers at ADC, commonly referred to as Diamonds Estate, have long been complaining about a reduced work week, inadequate protective gear, and others terms and conditions of employment.
Last week, the AT&LU, which began representing the workers this year, advised them to protest the reduction in the work week which has been in effect for over a year, as it altered their terms of employment.
In an interview yesterday, ADC Chairman Randy Baltimore informed our newsroom that one of the main issues was settled, and he said the board decided to extend the working hours at the corporation, as well as to implement other measures to maintain the financial flow.
Baltimore said the majority of the staff agreed to the extension in a recent meeting.
“We discovered that we were losing monies because the employees were being paid for eight hours even though they were not working for the entire day.
“We informed the workers of the change and gave them the opportunity to decide whether they want to continue to work the usual hours of 7 to 3 or change to the new time from 7 am to 4 pm,” he added.
The ADC chairman said once people are working longer, production levels at the government run facility will be maintained.
He also revealed plans to extend the opening hours of the day market from two days a week to five days.
A different explanation was presented by the union which met with the workers on Tuesday.
General Secretary of the AT&LU Hugh Joseph said the workers communicated that the ADC management told them they had no choice but to accept the offer recently placed on the table.
He explained that the management’s offer was to stop paying for the worker’s lunch hour and if they wanted to be paid for the hour, they would have to work fromt 7 am until 4 pm instead of finishing the usual time at 3 pm.
 
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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