Tuesday, August 23, 2011

LIAT Problems

I hope LIAT is in good shape when we come down in a month or so. This is from an Antigua newspaper website:

LIAT shareholders to meet today
By CMC - Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011.

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent – Shareholders of regional airline LIAT will meet in Barbados today as chairman Dr Ralph Gonsalves said he was “concerned” about how on-going industrial relations are being handled.
“I have a sense that somewhere the industrial relations issues are not being handled as adroitly, as adeptly, as they should be handled,” Gonsalves told reporters yesterday.
“I see the one in Barbados, I see the one in Grenada. I see the one with pilots. It may well be that the management is correcting each case. But if the management is correcting each case, why are the people who are involved other than the management in each case feel wronged? So that worries me,” Gonsalves added.
Earlier this month, LIAT employees in Grenada voted to end a crippling 11-day strike even as their bargaining agent warned that the “war is not over” with the Antigua-based airline.
The workers, who were owed an estimated EC $6 million (US $2.2 million) in outstanding arrears dating back to 1983, agreed to accept EC $500,000 (US $185,185) with the outstanding matters to be dealt with during arbitration.
The strike took place even as the airline was trying to resolve pilots’ concerns and just before threats of industrial action in Barbados.
Gonsalves explained that he was not saying that LIAT management “is making errors.”
“As a mature person and a person involved in the management and leadership of a country … when I see the series of things, it suggests to me that maybe something should be done better even though they are not done wrongly ….” Gonsalves added.
He further said that he was not castigating the management of the airline.
“I have spoken with the requisite subtlety. And you know if I am going to castigate anybody I will so openly. And I have very high regard for the management of LIAT, so let me add that …” Gonsalves said.
Last week, LIAT pilots announced a new strategy in their ongoing dispute with management, indicating that they will now seek to hold talks with the three shareholder governments in the future.
The airline is owned by the governments of Antigua & Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.
“Letters would be drafted and sent out to the individual prime ministers and shareholders by Friday this week, requesting a meeting,” said Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan at a news conference called by the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA).
Astaphan told reporters that a meeting will be scheduled as soon possible.

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