Townhouse Mega Store employees end picket after collective bargaining agreement signed

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By Elesha George

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Approximately eight employees of Townhouse Mega Store resumed work after staging a brief picket outside their workplace on the corner of American and All Saints Road on Tuesday morning.

The workers withheld their services to protest delays in finalising their collective bargaining agreement. The agreement allows them to have more holidays as well as wage increases.

“There have been significant delays in arriving at the position that we have arrived at today,” said Samuel James, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Free Trades Union (ABFTU).

James further explained that disagreements over certain clauses within the contract had led to the protracted delay in its signing. Employees told Observer that one of the clauses had been negotiated since 2015.

On Tuesday, the ABFTU sat with the management of Town House Mega Store and had signed off on a 2021 agreement to start off the process. The union then advised the workers to return to work.

James emphasised that the prolonged dispute could have been avoided if the management had shown greater urgency in addressing the agreement. He said, “I am happy, I am glad that we were able to resolve the issues today but it should not have had to come to this for people to have matters settled.”

He also stressed the importance of open communication and collaboration between employers and employees to prevent such situations from arising in the future.

The management of Townhouse Mega Store corroborated the successful resolution in a statement to Observer, confirming that the issues at hand had been addressed. As a result, employees were promptly back on the job, bringing an end to the picket.

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