TUC accuses gov’t of excluding it from the consultative process

A Trade Union Congress (TUC) executive has chided the government for excluding the body from the process of selecting appointees to boards.

Speaking at the TUC Labour Day rally at Country Pond on Monday, Second Vice President of the organization, Sandra Williams charged that several of its members had been appointed to statutory corporations without government first consulting the TUC.

“We are concerned, that for the first time, the two union representatives on the Social Security Board are from the same union,” Williams said. “This is in contrary to the Social Security Act.”

The Social Security Act states under ‘Constitution and Proceedings of the Social Security Board of Control’ 4, that: “The members representing employed persons shall be appointed after consultation with such trade unions, or association of trade unions, as appear to the Governor-General to be representative of employees generally throughout Antigua and Barbuda.”

Williams said the TUC, which represents 10 different trade unions, “practices a culture of respect”.

“Therefore, we respect you as the government of the day and expect reciprocation,” she said.

The TUC official also said a situation where the country is seemingly “under probation” is also a cause for concern.

She stated that elected officials “micromanage the system, ignoring technicians and executives”.

The union executive also charged that the heads of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre are not paying the statutory deductions from workers’ salaries, in accordance with the law.

“The deductions are made and not paid into the Social Security Scheme and other corporations,” she said. Williams promised that if the minister of labour did not address the matter, the congress would take further action in order to correct the practice.

Meantime, the TUC executive said despite a dismal showing from workers at their Labour Day rally, the body will not be deterred from carrying out its function.

Williams told OBSERVER media that the group will “continue to persevere”, but may have to consider switching the date of the event to draw more supporters.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)