Unions to hold off on action against employers for Holiday Pay

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By Latrishka Thomas

The proposed Public Holidays Amendment Bill of 2019 has caused quite a stir in Antigua and Barbuda due to the suggestion made by the government to clarify that Sunday is not a holiday.

More recently, it has been revealed that unions have issued letters to some companies requesting that they begin paying workers the premium rate for working on Sundays.

However, Minister of Labour Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin stated that unions have been asked to hold off on any action against employers.

“I am surprised that you received a letter because I had the undertaking from the unions themselves that nothing will happen and we will sit down and arrange this matter. We had discussions with the Unions and they had already agreed that from going forward,” Benjamin said during the consultation, for employers, on the Public Holidays Amendment Bill, which was conducted yesterday.

At the consultation, it was a LIAT representative who disclosed that they have been asked to begin adhering to the law as it presently stands.

“I will indicate to you that even [yesterday] morning, prior to coming up here, we received correspondence from a major union — and that union represents the majority of our labour force — indicating that effective 1st September we are expected to pay our workers in relation to the standards set under C15 of the Labour Code, and so this is a very important issue,” she revealed.

Shortly after, a few other attendees shared a similar concern.

Read more in today’s newspaper

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