Public service union reports ministers’ threats to ILO

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Without saying that much would come of it, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) has said that her union wrote to at least three international labour organisations about the “rhetoric” that came her executive’s way during the last election campaign.
Speaking to OBSERVER media over the weekend, Joan Peters named the three entities as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Public Service International (PSI) and the Caribbean Public Service Association (CPSA).
The union has kept a promise first made by Sandra Williams, ABPSA General Secretary on Sunday March 18 on OBSERVER radio’s Big Issues. It was then that Williams said the “attacks” on members of the union’s executive would be taken at least to the ILO.
Those “attacks” came particularly from Gaston Browne, prime minister and Lennox Weston, minister of state in the Ministry of Finance. Browne publicly accused the union’s leaders of having hidden political motives in the run up to the March 21 elections.
The ABPSA’s executive had called an emergency meeting of public servants on Friday, March 16 to discuss the union’s next move following a recent unfavorable response which it had received from the government’s negotiating team over the payment of long overdue back pay.
Sensing the possibility of a strike, Browne attended the meeting at the Botanical Gardens and was allowed to speak. There and on occasions prior to that, he accused the union’s leadership of “playing politics.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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