‘Get a life’ says Asot when asked about workers’ severance

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MP Asot Michael would neither confirm nor deny owning the now defunct Caribtimes newspaper, but he says the media needs to “get a life” and stop enquiring about payment to the staff who are demanding their severance money.
Last week, the seven affected former employees reported that they are owed severance from the company, which was incorporated in June 2013 and which ceased operations on January 12, this year.
When asked whether it was true that he has not paid the workers’ severance or owns the company, Michael said, “Nonsense. Why don’t you people get a life? I give away so much.” And then he posited, “Why would I refuse to pay anyone?”
The queries were made via Whastapp and his responses were made through the same medium which is the only means through which the reporter has been able reach the St. Peter MP who, in May, resigned from the Cabinet as Minister of Trade and Investment amid a bribery scandal with UK property tycoon, Peter Virdee.
While the public widely believes that Michael owned Carib Times Limited, there is little documented evidence to show this.
The company’s file at the Intellectual Property office does not identify Michael on any of the incorporation documentation, but the ex-employees believe he is the owner based on emails reportedly sent to them in 2018 by Michael or someone acting on his behalf expressing a “commitment” to pay them their severance.
Andie Stephen, an industrial relations officer with the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU), is in possession of those emails and she wrote to Michael on that basis, asking him for a meeting to discuss the severance in February this year. But up to a few days ago when we last checked, there was no response to the request.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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