St. John’s Antigua- Antigua-based employees of American Airlines inched one day closer to retrenchment without their hopes that union or government intervention could reverse their fortunes being realised.
General Secretary of Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) David Massiah told OBSERVER he met with the workers in a long, emotional meeting Tuesday night. But at the end of it, many questions remained unanswered. The only certainties, Massiah said, was that the workers felt betrayed.
Up to press time last night, Massiah said he did not have any exact figure of the number of employees who would be affected. He could only put the number between 20 and 30.
He also said in response to a question posed by OBSERVER that it seems as if the union is in worst-case scenario mode, where its role will be to negotiate for fair severance packages for the employees.
Reports indicate that Airport Services Antigua is the vendor of choice for American Airlines.
Massiah said it is regretful that the development came stealthily and did not offer the union a chance to secure employment for some of the soon-to-be-displaced workers.
“In the course of regular negotiations, the union should have had the opportunity to ask the other company to give an opportunity to the workers,” Massiah said.
He was still hoping, last night, that government intervention would bring some ease.
Overseas representatives of the financially challenged US carrier informed the ABWU and shop stewards that, as of November 1, the company would outsource its operations in Antigua.