Antigua and Barbuda: 3 workers union starts legally opposing new vaccine mandate policy

Dominica: New vaccination drive announced for public officers
Dominica: New vaccination drive announced for public officers

In Antigua and Barbuda, the 3 workers unions are seeking legal advice in challenging the policy of the Government regarding the vaccine mandate.

A lawsuit has been filed for challenging the new COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy that the Government has issued last week. The Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association had filed this lawsuit.

This new vaccination mandate states that all employees in the company in which the Government is the major shareholder have to get vaccinated till October 1, or they would stay at home unpaid. This vaccination mandate also includes all government employees and teachers.

The ABPSA stated, “petitioning the court for Judicial Review of the Government’s policy and changes to the Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease) Regulations, arguing they are arbitrary, irrational, and disproportionate, among other things.”

The association added that the Government should “stay” the policy till the case does not get resolved in the High Court.

The union’s lawyer, Warren Cassell, while clarifying the case status, said, “this is not a constitutional motion, but rather an administrative law case seeking judicial review of the policy as well as the change to the regulations. The first step is to filter the data. To proceed, a plaintiff must first get authorization from the High Court.”

The union’s announcement stated that the court is expected to hold the motion for “leave” as soon as possible in accordance with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules.

The Antigua and Barbuda Trades and Labour Union had announced 2 days before that they had got the legal counsel with that they started the process for challenging the vaccination mandate policy. The union also ordered their unvaccinated members to stay at their residence till the case result did not come, and the matter got settled in High court.

The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) on September 19 said, “will continue to study and debate the issue of forced vaccination with our legal representatives in order to pursue any viable legal challenges.”