The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has paved the way for the Industrial Court to hear arguments in a case involving five workers who were dismissed from the St James’s Club in 2016 after participating in industrial action.
At the time of the action the workers were represented by the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), which to date bargains on the behalf of employees of the resort.
The legal case was filed in the court after the resort’s management opted to sever the workers instead of reinstating them.
The company had worked with the ABWU to negotiate severance on behalf of the aggrieved workers and others who took part in the action.
While others signed and accepted the agreement, the seven in question claimed they did not agree with the settlement and signed without prejudice which, in essence, gives them the right to challenge the matter.
The workers have since sought different representation through the Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade Union (ABFTU).
The case, according to ABFTU General Secretary, Samuel James, will be sent back to the Industrial Court for a full hearing. He also said that trade unions on the island could learn from this case.
An official from the ABWU said the union would not comment on the facts of the case as the matter is still before the court.