Union suggests temporary relocation of Post Office

Wigley George, president of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, said workers of the General Post Office should be relocated until repair work is completed. (Photo by Tameika Malone)

The union representing some of the almost 300 workers at the General Post Office wants the staff relocated temporarily.

Wigley George, president of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, said yesterday that after one day of cleaning, he is not satisfied that the workers’ complaints of dust, noise and the smell of paint from the ongoing renovation, were adequately addressed.

“There seems to be a challenge when it comes to cleaning. The construction is still going on upstairs and there is going to be a need for ventilation to be improved, providing they seal off what they were supposed to. I am not an expert when it comes to construction, but, I am firmly of the view that the construction will not finish in time,” George said.

On Tuesday, employees walked off the job complaining about several issues they are confronted with at the lower High Street building that is being renovated.

When the repair work commenced three weeks ago, OBSERVER media was told that the workers should not report to work since the repairs would take four to six weeks.

They were also told to listen for an announcement that would advise them when to return to work.

On Tuesday, the all-clear came in a radio announcement informing them to return to work.

However, when the workers reported for duty, they were not satisfied with the level of work done and they refused to work in the dusty and hot building.

Operations resumed yesterday morning, but, with a skeleton staff. It was understood that workers would report back to work once the health department and construction team meet Friday’s deadline.

George said he is not convinced that level of work can be properly completed in time.

“I do not believe any drastic improvements will happen. What I think needs to be done is a temporary replacement of the sorters and the postmen and woman who carry out the mail, because, if you need something to be done to that building now, an adequate remedial solution to the problem is that you would have to keep everyone from there and let them do an extensive repair job,” he said.

George posited that the General Post Office is one of the older structures in the city and it should get the attention that was given to the newly rebuilt Ministry of Health, which is a stone’s throw away from the post office.