LIAT protest off


LIAT services across the region will not be disrupted tomorrow, the airline’s management has assured.

The Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) had threatened to stage sit-ins at various airports if its members did not receive their salaries by midnight tonight.

However in a brief statement, LIAT management said, “the recent report of impending action by the pilots have been withdrawn following a meeting between management and the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association which was hosted by Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon Steadroy Benjamin.”

The airline was however tightlipped about the outcome of the talks.

“The discussions were cordial and the Management and pilots have reached a mutually amicable decision on outstanding issues,” the statement said.

One Response to LIAT protest off

  1. BimJim May 25, 2017 at 10:05 am

    If you jump to blame LIALPA – again – then it is clear that you have absolutely no idea what the true situation is. Historically, this is not the first time an abysmal LIAT management have brought LIAT to the brink of industrial action – by any group of employees, not just the pilots – and it would not have been the first time the pilots would have shut down the airline because of bad faith and sheer lying and nastiness from management.

    How about 10 years negotiating a single contract and still getting nowhere? How about that happening THREE times? This alone is some $30 million in wasted salaries and countless man-hours in wasted time down the drain, in case you were unable to put numbers to it.

    LIAT management wanted to access THE EMPLOYEES’ MONEY in their Provident Fund – LIAT had no pensions – and when that was refused by the courts they simply stopped putting in – held back – BOTH the company AND the employee contributions for years after that. In short, they committed fraud AND theft to the tune of over US$10 million – directly in the face of the court order – and nobody even got a summons.

    If someone signs a substantial revenue contract with you and then refuses to deliver, what would YOU do? If someone steals a substantial amout of YOUR money, what would YOU do? LIAT management has done this and still does this – with ALL employees – over and over again.

    WHY does LIAT cost the taxpayers so much? NOT because the employees stand on their rights, but because the shareholders insist on appointing their friends and relatives to the Board and executive management – not ONE of whom are competent in the airline business.

    The last CEO was already retired – brought in from the bowels of British Airways Cargo with NO expertise in running a small fast-moving airline – he was a do-nothing back-room executive – and clearly got the job because he agreed to make no changes. He spent his tenure touring the LIAT network (at LIAT expense,of course), doing as little as possible with a CEO salary. Now THAT’s what I call a nice semi-retirement!

    Now the CFO – Reifer-Jones – thinks she is qualified and wants the CEO position, but the ONLY airline business she knows is watching how LIAT was run before – and we all know how that is going.

    Without qualifications and experience you cannot possibly innovate. And Reifer-Jones is an accountant, not an aviation person.

    LIAT requires a qualified hand at the helm with decades of small airline experience, someone who REALLY knows how a small airline is suppoosed to operate. Not someone who is “trying a ting” or “seeing what they could do”.

    And on the flip side of that coin that person needs a free hand from the shareholders to make changes – no executive can perform miracles with both hands and both feet chained to the ground. By all means set broad parameters – such as “break even or make a profit” or “serve all of the existing destinations”, but once the person is appointed get the hell out of the way, pull out the political commissars, and stop the daily instructions.

    A year ago I gave LIAT about two years to survive unless changes were made. Here we are a year and two months after the last CEO walked out, and still no replacement. The CFO who is running the airline is not qualified or experienced to do so, and there is a good chance she will be appointed.

    Stop criticising the LIAT employees for doing what they must do to protect themselves. All of the shareholder governments are social – labour – governments, originally formed to protect LABOUR – the average worker – from the abuses of employers.

    In this case the enemy is not the employee, it is the employer. And in LIAT’s case that simple fact has been proven over and over again for many decades, there can be no argument about this truth.


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