Protesting staff at the St. John’s Development Corporation (SJDC) are being told to report to work as normal today, after their union representative, the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) promised a resolution to their issue.
The protest action began on Monday, where nearly 100 employees walked off the job demanding that management rescind their decision of rehiring and promoting a temporary female employee who was fired for stealing money.
Workers demanded that the employee be withdrawn from the statutory corporation and transferred to another government department or they will not return to work.
President of the (AT&LU) Wigley George told ZDK News this morning that the demand was granted after the intervention of the Permanent Secretary within the Tourism Ministry.
“The matter went as far as the Acting Permanent Secretary who is on island, who would have spoken to the authorities and accede to the request of the union that until the matter is resolved the worker should be withdrawn, so this request was granted, ” he noted.
George said the decision was made in light of the disruption the protest action could cause on the tourism sector, particularly because of the arrivals on cruise passengers.
” That would have averted a number of disruptions because today, two ships are coming in and some more on Friday and we do not wish to have that type of disruption in the tourism sector, especially right at our doors, particularly down at Heritage quay” he added.
The AT&LU President said that workers do not wish to see the employee out of a job but was concerned about the moral of the working environment.
“If the board resolve this before the Minister (who is ff island) is returned then we would be happy for that. We do not wish to see anyone out of work but the same time the involved employee should not be among the regular staff because they are of the view that the action taken by the board will contribute to the downgrading of the worker’s moral …the nature of the incident as well sends the wrong message to the staff,” the AT&LU president said.