Those in charge of running the Antigua Port Authority should know by today whether there are enough workers signed up for voluntary separation packages to avoid lay-offs.
Workers were given until last Friday to indicate whether they would give up their positions and opt for voluntary enhanced severance or early retirement, in the interest of the Port cutting costs.
The decision came just days after Christmas, when management and the board said the Port should reduce its payroll of 280 by half to avoid financial ruin.
General Manager of the facility Agatha Dublin told The Daily OBSERVER that they’re trying to figure out how close they are to that number after the voluntary separation offer.
“We weren’t about to give a final tabulation as to what we had by the close of business Friday,” Dublin said. “Our (Human Resources) Department is going through the enquiries versus the numbers that actually applied.”
After months of negotiations between Port management and bargaining agents for the workers Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU), the deadline was given for employees to decide.
AT&LU Industrial Relations Officer Ralph Potter had said those are the two options on the table and if all else fails, workers would be made redundant. He called on the workers to inform the union of their decision to ensure that they receive all of their entitlements.
“We do not know yet how many people have indicated their interest. Some of the workers would have fallen under the agreement with the Port and the Antigua & Barbuda Workers’ Union,” Potter said yesterday. “Some persons could have opted for the package without informing their unions, so once we know what the numbers are then we can look to see where we go from there.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)