Two students from the Antigua and Barbuda State College; Jowan Samuel and Justin O’Mard, have successfully completed a six-week internship program at the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU)
In what has been described as a first-time undertaking, the internship provided the students with an opportunity for training in a variety of fields relevant to their studies, as well as an opportunity for hands-on experience.
Samuel said “we were happy to share their experiences in the Union.
“My experience at the ABWU was very informative as it relates to the services they provide. Some of the services that were introduced to me were negotiating collective agreements, handling employee grievances, and liaising with the Union’s international affiliates such as Public Service International (PSI),” she said
She is a second-year ASC student and he said one of the most eventful moment during his internship at the ABWU was the Labour Day March where “we walked the streets of St. John’s standing in solidarity and celebrating workers across Antigua and Barbuda,”
Meanwhile, O’Mard, a Marketing major said was able to grasp the concept of solidarity in the Trade Union Movement.
“I’ve learned that the Union is at its strongest when the workers stand up and fight for their rights alongside the Union. I received training in the communications department where I assisted in the production of a monthly newsletter, updated the Union’s websites, learnt digital photography, in addition to video and photo editing.” O’Mard said
In expressing satisfaction with the initiative, David Massiah, the ABWU General Secretary, said he was pleased to have the interns onboard, saying that the program aligned well with the Union’s interest in young workers.
“We were happy when the State College approached us because we have been working towards exposing more young people to trade unionism. We believe that there are valuable and meaningful careers in the Labour Movement for young people, and this internship program gives us the chance to demonstrate just that,” Massiah said.
The interns were supervised by Senior Industrial Relations Officer, Hazel Luke, and Public Relations Officer, Anderson Edghill
“Both interns came with solid skills in different areas. We were able to build capacity in the weaker areas, as well as develop new skills which they would be able to strengthen throughout their careers,” Edghill said.
The internship ran from April 24 to June 2 2023.