Information Ministry staff demanding a move after second walk-off

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By Claneisha Gomes
[email protected]
Relocating from their office at the Sealy Building to what they believe is a clean and safe workplace will appease the 20 workers who said that for the past eight years they have been working a 40-hour week in unsanitary conditions.
Hugh Joseph, general secretary of Antigua Trades and Labour Union (ATLU), said he responded to a distress call from the administrative staff at the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology yesterday.
“They have outlined to me a number of health and safety issues that they also brought to the attention of the Permanent Secretary,” Joseph said. Adding that when he arrived at the Sir George Walter Highway location, he made a failed attempt to speak with Joan Joseph, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary.
“She rudely waved us off and said she doesn’t have the time. She’s not prepared to accommodate us, and that is where we are at this point,” the union representative said.
Joseph explained that the response he received from the Secretary (PS) has put the staff at a further disadvantage because her dismissive attitude did not allow a dialogue between the parties.
“I know the normal procedure is to write and request the meeting. But given the unusual circumstances, where the workers are actually outside, are you not even, at this point, prepared to meet with us?”
The union representative said he then contacted Eltonia Rojas, labour commissioner, asking for the department’s involvement.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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