Sandals promises to give ‘urgent consideration’ to concerns raised by ABWU

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The management of the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, has responded positively to several concerns that were put forward by the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), regarding the impact that its impending five-month closure would have on the more than 700 workers employed by the company.
The union wrote to the management of the company yesterday outlining several concerns, which it said were raised by workers during an emergency meeting to discuss the temporary closure on Monday.
In the missive addressed to Sandals’ Chief Operations Officer Shawn Dacosta, General Secretary of the ABWU David Massiah also made specific requests on the behalf of the affected workers.
The union advocated for the resort to reduce the period of closure to mitigate the economic impact it would have on the workers and their families.
Massiah also called on the company to pay into the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) on the behalf of the employees to allow for full coverage for them and their dependants.
“We are requesting that all employees be credited with full vacation and be allowed to proceed on vacation prior to lay off. That where possible, engage employees in a period of retraining with basic pay during the period of closure,” Massiah wrote.
The union also asked for the employees to be given priority for employment during the period when essential maintenance work is carried out.
In a follow up letter addressed to the union, the General Manager for the Sandals Group Gaurav Sindhi noted that the company, “Takes note of the five areas of concern raised by the ABWU and in the interest of our valued team members and for the benefit of the wider tourism sector of Antigua and Barbuda, I can assure that your concerns will be brought to the attention of the Chairman and Board for their urgent consideration,” Sindhi said.
The GM also thanked the union for its “professional and rational assessment of the matter, and your genuine concern for the welfare of the approximately 700 team members who are employed at Sandals Grande Antigua”.
The union will be meeting with the workers at 3 pm today to discuss the way forward.

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