The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union is concerned over a release issued by the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association regarding its position on the issue of unvaccinated employees within the sector.
It is quite unfortunate that the Association has advised its members and is advocating for the unvaccinated employee’s exit from employment. This we consider a very disingenuous and inhumane position to take at this time.
Furthermore, the dismissal of any unvaccinated employee under the circumstances would be discriminatory, illegal and therefore, challengeable legally and otherwise.
While we appreciate the need for all employees to be vaccinated, it is also important that the rights of all, including the unvaccinated, be protected. A decision of this nature by the Employers’ representative within the Hospitality Sector on the eve of a National Consultation on the subject and the clear threat enunciated in the Release to our membership, is scorned by the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union. What is necessary at this time is sound and respectful leadership.
As we are about to embark on a National Stakeholder Dialogue on this issue, we urge restraint by the Association and its members. This is not the time to dig our heels into the sand and use power and position to punish individuals whose stance may not be on all fores with ours on the issue at hand.
The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union will posit its position on behalf of its membership within the hospitality and other sectors represented by us regarding testing and vaccination atthe National Consultation on Thursday 16th September, 2021.
We, therefore, urge the Association to honour the principles of dialogue, genuine consultation and the spirit of good Industrial Relations. To do otherwise, would only lend itself to constant conflict between the two representative organizations.