Security personnel raise concern over retirement benefits

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After giving more that five years of “dedicated” service to one of the country’s largest privately-run security company, at least two employees are concerned they will be sent home without the benefits they earned.
This week, in letters issued to the employees who were initially employed by the company when they were in their late 50s, the company informed them that their term of employment would end on October 31 given that they would have already turned 60 years old.
“Should you wish to be considered for re-engagement on a casual month-to-month basis, you are welcome to submit a letter of application along with a medical report certifying your continued physical fitness to perform the duties of a security officer, with particular regard for the requirements, rigor and identifiable risk of the job,” the letters stated.
The letters dated November 6 was handed to the employees yesterday, but, they contend that based on the communique, they are convinced they would be walking away from the job without any benefits. According to the two employees, the letters did not indicate whether they would be paid for the additional nine days they have been on the job for in November.
The communication further states that the company was thanking them for their “dedicated years of service rendered to the company during the period of employment and take this occasion to wish you long life, good health,” during their retirement.
The men have been informed that the company’s human resource department would contact them to advise them if they are entitled to any discretionary benefits based on the union agreement.
The letter was copied to the managing director, the general manager, the operations manager, payroll officer and the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union.
“When they hired us they knew how old we were, I was almost 60 and we turned 60 so many years “ago. This letter does not say that they intend to pay us off, I’d really love to know what they plan to do with us and our years of service,” one worker said.
OBSERVER media tried without success to get a comment from the managing director identified on the letter and one from the union which represents the workers.
Last year, the employees were put on notice that their term of employment would come to an end this month end. (Tameika Malone)

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