Bernard de Nully has been elected President of the oldest trade union on the island the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) he takes over from longstanding president Wigley George who served in the post for several years.
de Nully is part of a new executive that was elected Monday as part of the union’s 84th annual delegates conference on Sunday. Prior to the start of the conference, George announced he would not be seeking re-election and that if he was nominated, he would respectfully decline.
Earlier on Sunday the outgoing President Wigley George highlighted the changes in the global workforce and the need for the body to adopt new strategies to maintain relevance.
“We are not entering the fifth industrial revolution where man and machine will be working as one, everything will be personalized in collaboration with each other,” Geoge said.
He further explained that the union officials and its members must therefore be vigilant.
“Go and look for your members, you don’t need to have a case just get up, go to a workplace, and let them see you,” he said.
Labour Commissioner Eltonia Rojas also admonished union officials to be more strategic in their approach.
“It is not the strong hand that will win the battle every time right now you are dealing with people who are more advanced intellectually and you do not want a situation where the persons that you are representing are doing a better job at representing themselves,” Rojas said.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Steadroy Benjamin used a portion of his remarks to deliver a stinging rebuke of people who, in his view, are attempting to separate the union from the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party.
“I am informed that there are some presently within the union who want to separate from the ABLP. What utter foolishness! Complete ignorance! The union and the party are inseparable and those persons who have this misguided thinking must do one of two things, either join the ranks or jump off the ship”
“People like me born in the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party from 10 years old to now will not sit back and allow you detractors to derail this great organisation, it will not happen,” Benjamin cautioned.