Protesting hotel workers fired

source: govexec

The management of St James’s Club has taken a decision to axe 14 employees who reportedly led an industrial action in front of the property on Friday.

Rob Barrett, the chairman of Elite Island Resorts, which operates St James’s Club, Galley Bay Resort, Verandah and Jolly Beach, said the 14 workers attached to the Food and Beverage Department who walked off the job failed to follow the grievance procedures outlined in a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“We contacted them and informed them that we are terminating them,” Barrett said.

“We have a Collective Bargaining Agreement which is very specific and these people never brought any gripes to a senior manager; not a word. I live there, I see them at time and not a single word was said to me and not to our general manager who lives there and sees them every day.”

The workers reportedly took action on Friday over what they termed were “unresolved issues with management”.

The workers, who were supported by their colleagues, also claimed blatant disregard and disrespect by the resort’s food and beverage manager.

They also complained of having to work shorter hours without prior discussion or rationale.

Industrial Relations Officer attached to the Antigua Barbuda Workers Union Kem Riley said the union met with workers on Friday to advise them to return to work, however the management of the resort took a decision to send them home.

He said, yesterday, that the union and the workers are yet to hear from management.

“I am now dispatching a letter to the Labour Department so that they can intervene in the matter because we think they have now locked out the employees,” Riley said.

The union officer said workers who were not on duty but showed up to support their colleagues were also taken off the schedule.

“They have taken action against workers who were actually at work the day. The company, I think, is overreacting with the matter and they have not engaged the bargaining unit as yet which went on the compound to deal with the matter,” Riley said.

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