A very outspoken trade unionist here has told Prime Minister Gaston Browne that he should level all his criticism against APUA at the Administration and the management of the company.
“I am not hearing the Prime Minister saying that he is firing the Minister because he is not doing his work, and I am not hearing the Prime Minister or any other minister saying they are going to fire the Board…but the Prime Minister is going to touch the little workers,” Samuel James of the Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade Unions said over the weekend
James, a guest on the Observer’s Big Issues Program, also pleaded with the APUA management and employees to reject the attacks on their integrity.
“If you are not defending your workers as management, then it seems to me that you are also resigning yourself in the belief that it is the workers that are creating the problems,” he said, telling Browne that he should look at its own management before publicly attacking APUA staff.
Last week, Browne said on his weekly radio programe Browne and Browne that staff of APUA who are suspected or found guilty of sabotaging the water distribution by turning off valves indiscriminately will be fired.
This is not the first time the prime minister accused APUA staff of sabotaging the agender of his administration.
“If you are going to be telling the people of Antigua and Barbuda that the workers at APUA are preventing the public from getting water, and you continue to preside over that forever, then you…have failed the people,” James explained.
Melford Nicholas is now the minister responsible for APUA however prior to his taking up that position just two weeks ago, Sir Robin Yearwood held that portfolio for many years beginning in 1999.