JUNE 1, 1967 The Antigua Workers Union (AWU) opened their first Office on Tanner Street. The first union officers (industrial relations officers) were Donald Halstead, Keithlyn Smith and Fitzroy Brann.
The Union, now known as the The Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU),was formed in response to concerns about the continued effectiveness of the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) given that the leadership was also the government. The widening rift over the concentration of power resulted in the eventual expulsion of several Industrial Relation Officers of the AT&LU in May 1967.
The expelled individuals moved swiftly to form the AWU. By May 16 1967 George Walter, Donald Halstead, Keithlyn Smith and Joseph Cornwall were the core of the new new union. The team was able to quickly outmaneuver the Government and through the creative genius of Donald Halstead, was able to legally register the Union on May 31, 1967.
The Union’s current Freedom Hall headquarters received its name from its first President Malcolm Daniel on April 13th 1971; it was later opened on August 12, 1971.The Union’s motto is “Unity in Diversity”.
The mission of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union is to promote and protect the social and economic well-being of workers by defending their rights and interests.