Another service organization has spoken out against the contentious Statutory Corporations General Provisions Bill 2016 and this time it comes from the Antigua and Barbuda Trade Union Congress, the umbrella body for a number of leading trade unions in Antigua and Barbuda.
In a press release from the TUC, penned by its general secretary the body described the bill as a “backward piece of legislation which should never see the light of day,” adding that it is unfair and unethical to workers.
It said that Section 4(1) of the bill gives the Minister too much power and further described the bill as ‘outrageous’ as Cabinet appears to have ultimate control of all the decisions made by the board.
If those decisions are inconsistent with the policy of Cabinet, then Cabinet may grant approval upon review of the matter making Cabinet the ultimate micro manager. “This can become disastrous,” read the release.
The release also noted that the bill goes against the principles of good labour and industrial practices in Antigua and Barbuda noting that bill appears to act as a form of discipline, ‘to weed out workers and a micro manager by Cabinet to the statutory boards for those workers who don’t share or opposed Cabinet’s views.’
The TUC says they stand in solidarity with fellow Trade unionist, Senator Wrigley George on his original stance in the Senate when he voted for the bill to be returned for the lower house.
Last week, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union shared similar concerns, with its General Secretary David Massiah who said that the Government could face legal action over the bill.
The Statutory Corporations General Provisions Bill 2016 will return to the Lower house tomorrow, where lawmakers are set to re-debate offending sections of the bill.