Trade Union Congress angered over lack of Social Security dialogue

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua & Barbuda Trade Union Congress (ABTUC) said it was never consulted regarding the “frightening” difficulties being faced by the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Scheme (ABSSS).

A press release from the trade union said that the proposed list of social security reforms was never discussed with the organisation.

“There has been numerous announcements made in the media regarding the financial situation of the Social Security scheme, but we insist once more that no reform can take place unless the social partners who fund the scheme are properly consulted and agree to any proposals,” the release read.

The ABTUC joins the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) and the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) in issuing press releases regarding the recent cash flow troubles faced by the Social Security board.

Both the ABWU and the AT&LU called for the sacking of the current Social Security board for mismanaging the scheme.

Following calls for his resignation, chairman of the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board, Everett Christian, said his executive has performed “better than any previous board.”

“This board has been willing to deal with very difficult and trying situations and has been willing to take the tough decisions that are needed to restore the Social Security board to good fiscal health,” he said.

Christian said he found the ABWU’s statements “strange” as, through its membership of the ABTUC, it has two representatives on the board.

“They make regular reports to the TUC on what is transpiring,” Christian said.

The ABTUC press release did not address the fact that it has two representatives on the board.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

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