Chief of Staff to the Government Lionel Hurst has hinted that the Antigua & Barbuda’s Employers Federation has historically been opposed to the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) and by extension the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party.
Hurst’s comments’ comes on the heel of a call made by the President of the Federation Leslie Salmon, for more dialogue between the government and the federation on matters related o the economy and operating businesses in the country.
Hurst, while speaking during an interview on Thursday, said that until this history is discarded, friction will remain between the two parties.
“They negotiated contracts for sugar workers at the Antigua Sugar Factory back in 1950, that is primarily their reason for existing, to come up against the AT&LU as a union and in many ways that identity has not been shed…..it still remains a group of employers who has a strong anti-union bent and until such time I believe that they will continue to see the government, under the ABLP as some sort of institution they must fight,” Hurst said.
Notwithstanding that, he added that the government will be happy to listen to the federation, which represents private sector employers around the nation.
“We are prepared to have greater dialogue, the government would be more than pleased to have even more consultations with the Employer’s Federation,” he noted.
Salmon said that the relationship between the two bodies is currently cordial, however if the government wants to see results from the policies it implements