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Union tells workers not to accept pay cut

ST JOHN’S — An official with the Antigua & Barbuda Workers’ Union has said that senior management at Galley Bay Resort & Spa are not obliged to accept a reduction in salary and benefits that took effect on July 1.

In a June 27 memorandum, Managing Director James Lane informed senior management of the 10 per cent payroll reduction and 10 per cent reduction in benefits and allowances, as part of cost-cutting efforts.

“They have to agree to this. You cannot cut employees’ salary without their agreement,” the official said.

The ABWU industrial relations officer asked to remain anonymous however, because while the union has received a copy of the memorandum, it has not been asked to represent the affected workers on the issue.

Galley Bay Resort & Spa is also completely removing senior management budgets for entertaining, lunches, or other discretionary expenses.

Lane outlines two options for employees unhappy with the cuts. The first is to “take a one month, unpaid leave of absence” or “if this isn’t possible, then I request you provide me with 30 days written notice of your resignation.

“If I do not hear from you by 30 June, I will assume that you are on board with these cost-cutting measures, and agree to proceed as planned,” the memorandum notes.

But the industrial relations officer said the company does not have the right to demand an employee take a leave of absence or that they resign.

“If you say no (to the salary cuts) then it’s up to the company to say, ‘since we can’t cut your salary, we might have to part ways’ and then they would have to pay off the person,” the official said.

The union representative advised affected employees not to sign a resignation letter, since this would waive their right to severance pay.

“In a situation where the company is telling you if you don’t agree then you have to resign, then I think all the management down there supposed to do like the line employees and put on a strike,” the official said.

However, the union representative said it’s important for the workers to make it known they do not accept the wage cuts — if that is the case.

Repeated efforts to contact Lane were unsuccessful up to press time. (Antigua Observer)

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