Port Authority chief ‘ignores’ union demands

St. John’s Antigua- Chairman of the Antigua Port Authority Greg Walter is being warned that he will be held accountable for any impending industrial action port workers may take.

The union representing the workers is planning to retaliate against what they deem disrespect, due to the chairman’s failure to respond to any of its correspondence.

Walter was given a month to respond to a letter submitted by the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) seeking answers on the status of voluntary severance and early retirement for port workers.

That deadline came to an end yesterday.

“We are going to hold him accountable, whatever action we decide to take will be at his feet because of his lack of respect,” warned industrial relations officer Ralph Potter.

Potter claimed it was customary for the chairman to ignore correspondence put forward by the union, saying this latest stance was not new.

“We have written to him before on very important issues and we have not received any response from him.  So it seems to be his way of doing business – that he does not respond to correspondence coming from the union which is in keeping with his normal behaviour,” he added.

The union last week warned it would be taking whatever action it could under the law, if the chairman failed to respond to the letter submitted on February 14.

The letter, copied to Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, demanded that the port move quickly to implement severance and early retirement for its workers.

The process should have started in August last year; it was stalled after the cash-strapped port indicated that there was not enough money to fund the programme.

Walter could not be reached for comment.

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