ST JOHN’S, Antigua – For the first time since it was formed over 60 years ago, the Antigua & Barbuda Employers Federation (ABEF) is being audited by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The weeklong examination started yesterday and is being conducted by Senior Employers’ Specialist with the ILO Luesette Howell.
ABEF Executive Secretary Arlene Martin said yesterday that she requested the audit so she can have information such as how the membership feels about the federation, and whether it is equipped to provide the services required of it.
“You know the Employers’ Federation, back in 2010, celebrated 60 years of existence, and I was appointed the new executive secretary at that point in time, so I think that it’s time for me to know exactly where we are, especially in this economic climate, and how our membership feels about us,” Martin said.
Martin said that one thing she doesn’t need the audit to tell her is that her office is understaffed.
“Based on what I would want to accomplish here as the new executive secretary, I would be happy for more hands. That is something we’ll be looking at for our new financial year, which begins in September. We will be looking at getting another industrial relations person on board, so very shortly we should be looking for applicants to fill that role,” she said.
Martin said the federation can only hire one other person – an industrial relations officer. That’s the post she vacated two years ago to take up the role of executive secretary.
The ABEF serves sectors including banking, general business, communications, manufacturing, hotel, merchants and agents, and shipping.
In addition to representatives in those industries, Howell will be meeting with the minister of labour, the labour commissioner, and unions.