ANTIGUA & BARBUDA HOTELS & TOURISM ASSOCIATION

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AHTA/ABWU RETIREMENT FUND
Thursday 29th July 2010

St John's 28th July :  In February of this year the A.H.T.A. and the A.B.W.U. introduced a retirement fund for all the hotel employees covered the the AHTA Collective agreement. Realizing the importance of providing for the financial well being of hotel workers a thrift fund was set up with the ABI Bank to provide a financial cushion after retirement. Since February workers in the member hotels have been contributing 2.5% of their base salaries which has been matched by their employers.
 
Sixteen hotels joined the fund at the outset enrolling over 1500 workers into what must be classed as the largest thrift fund in the region. Despite the economic downturn workers have embraced the fund with many contributing voluntarily over and above the minimum 2.5%. With five months' worth of contributions the fund reached a milestone last week when it reached its first half a million EC dollars. The fund is well on track to reach the million dollar mark well before the end of the year.
 
The A.H.T.A. has collaborated very closely with the A.B.W.U. in setting up the Retirement Fund announcing a new era of private sector / union relations. Both parties recognize that in these challenging times it is in their interest to collaborate as closely as possible to safeguard the livelihoods of those persons working in the industry.
 
Neil Forrester, General Manager of the A.H.T.A. expressed his satisfaction in the way the fund has been established. "It was difficult to set up such a large fund in such a short space of time with all hotels coming on stream at the same time. This was made possible by the efficiency of the staff at ABI Bank and the co-operation of the Human resource departments in the various member hotels. This is just the beginning and we hope that many more properties will see the value of the Retirement Fund and seek to join with us."


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