LIAT’s Pilot Association Breaks its silence

Leeward Islands Air Line Pilots' Association
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bimjim
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LIAT’s Pilot Association Breaks its silence

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LIAT’s Pilot Association Breaks its silence
December 22, 20204

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LIALPA PRESS RELEASE

It has been nine months since 500 odd workers of LIAT (1974) Ltd were temporarily laid off on April 1st as a Covid-19 precautionary measure. And for seventy-eight members of LIALPA, this temporary termination was not in keeping with the provisions of the Collective Agreement between the Company and the Association, and we instituted legal action following the subsequent wrongful extension for which action remains pending.

Subsequent extensions of the lay off period were effected in contravention of the provisions of the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Code which specified the alternative time periods for temporary terminations. Our termination was made final on October 22nd, 2020.

From April to present day, those terminated members have not received any monies from the Company and while we appreciate the efforts of the Antigua & Barbuda Government with the amendment to the Company’s Act to save the airline, we feel it is important to highlight our issues given the Company’s obligations with respect to severance payments which by law take precedence over any other Company debts.

Since the Administrator’s Report was laid down in Court (a matter of which we have no proof), there has been no further communication of the status of the Administrator’s or the Antigua and Barbuda Government’s negotiations with potential investors and the issue of debt forgiveness by creditors. It would appear that all focus has been placed on the limited operational schedule of the airline. Members of the LIALPA are facing dire financial consequences which are impacting on our ability to survive daily.

We remain hopeful that these negotiations and further efforts to reduce liabilities are completed as soon as possible, but we consider it only fair that we are kept abreast of developments, and more importantly the plans for payment of severance and other financial entitlements to our members.

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4 COMMENTS


Desmond December 23, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Maybe it’s time for s change of name for this beligured airline.

Firstly, they do not serve only the leeward Islands, and it could well be that name is now doomed to fail at all levels.
Liat was moving so much cargo intra region, and that service is so necessary. Yet, they will make a come back and offer no such service. One box costing 300. to move from Antigua to Dominica or St. Lucia will be more cost effective for the airline to do, gets its not. There are other areas of improvement that can be made but then again, who am I.




Concerned for LIAT December 24, 2020 at 7:33 am

When the uneducated, unlearnt Trini Flight Attendant turned LIAT Exec is done collaborating with the Fired, Failed, never won a case Trini Lawyer who is now CEO of the Barbados Aviation company, it would be interesting to see how the pilots get their severance. School children say based on how things are going LIAT may not have many more months in the air.

That exec is a disaster.

Will someone talk some sense into the “worl boss”? Is he serious about saving LIAT? If so, she gats to go along with several of the exec team. This company needs a whole make over and it cannot come from the same ones who put it where it is at. It is failure and incompetence all around. Covid-19 helped expose this even further.

Get a young team of brilliant Caribbean and more so OECS professionals and intellects who actually thinks and give them to run the airline. Where training is needed, provide it. Tired of these “washed up OLD People” from where ever coming to the Caribbean getting paid very well working with/leading a failed, failed again and again and continues to fail TEAM to wreck our beloved Caribbean institution.

Pilots, use the power of your union to lobby the prime minister for immediate change at LIAT or loose your entire pension and other benefits.




Tell it like it is December 24, 2020 at 10:49 am

Wow that took some time to come out thought you guys had been swept under the rug and forgotten the whole lot of you been quiet for too long just sitting back and hoping that everything would work out but I know no it’s going to be a sad sad add Christmas and New Year’s for all those LIAT workers I am hoping it’s not too late but forget the Union and the government an come together and look after you’re all interest.




Tell it like it is December 24, 2020 at 11:01 am

That guy like he’s only concern for the pilots but what about the other hundreds of workers around the Caribbean they’re supposed to get Pay as well and remember the most important thing those loyal customers who still owed money for tickets they were the ones who was paying everybody at LIAT.
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Re: LIAT’s Pilot Association Breaks its silence

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The piss-poor politically appointed management - and probably grand theft larceny - over the last 50 years at LIAT is only the middle layer of corruption and incompetence at the airline. Over the years the airline has lost literally billions of dollars, and in NONE of those years has there been a public accounting via annual audited accounts - to this day they all remain top secret.

What other company do you know of which could (publicly reported) lose over US$100 million, and on January 1 the next year it continues business as usual - nobody fired, disciplined or any changes whatsoever made?

The Board, the layer under the shareholder HOGs, has always been composed of political appointees, plum jobs for those who loyally toe the Party line and can be guaranteed to vote whichever way he or she is told to vote by his or her leader.

At Board level knowledge of aviation was NEVER an issue, just that they were loyal to their politician/s. So of course a purchase of US$100 million (EC$270 million, BDS$200 million) for a whole replacement fleet of aircraft merely gets a rubber stamp and no examination, if that is what the politicians want. Replace all the aircraft? Sure!! But what about pilot and engineer training for over 200 professionals? Then there are stored aircraft spares (including spare engines, at US$2 million each)? Different load sheets? Manuals? Paperwork? All that costs possibly 20% of the aircraft price, but nobody is interested in or qualified for reviewing anything, just rubber stamp it and collect the damn money for being a do-as-you-are-told Board Member. Suffer through the damn 5 minute Board meeting, then go to the beach.

The people who we as a region should be venting our anger and frustration on are the politicians - the so-called leaders - who insisted that the way LIAT was conducted was the way they wanted LIAT conducted. The earliest ones are either dead or long retired, but every Prime Minister who was ever a shareholder representative of LIAT is guilty of either insisting on the incompetence or standing by without comment while their own taxpayers paid a heavy price in the way of subventions of making up LIAT's losses.

I personally am aware that during his term as shareholder Chairman Fat Ralph refused every single appeal and opportunity to either improve LIAT's bottom line or to install professional management. Fat Ralph's Marxist dream is that taxpayers foot the bill for LIAT's subventions as some Communist-era government service, and that has cost the shareholder taxpayers dearly.

With Fat Ralph the majority shareholder in One Caribbean - it is in his son's name, his lawyer is on the Board, and YES, Fat Ralph DOES have control - the most recent announcement of liquidation of LIAT was from Fat Ralph and Queen Mia putting their heads together to close LIAT down in favour of One Caribbean.

Then Queen Mia flattened Fat Ralph's Fat Profit plans when she invited interCaribbean and Caribbean Airlines to serve the routes, and effectively doomed One Caribbean to bankruptcy in its present form. For ALL carriers, reported loads per flight were 7, then 5, then 2. None even Islander loads, but all on 19, 40 and 70 seater aircraft.

EVERYBODY is losing money, thanks to our bumbling corrupt ignorant incompetent leaders playing Big Shots in industries they have ZERO knowledge of.

Understand that it is not the employees who cost LIAT in a big way, in fact the average salary for any LIAT employee - from baggage handler to pilot - is well below global norms. You could easily say that LIAT employees were extended civil servants, receiving the pittances our governments are famous for paying that class of employee.

The most recent CEO of LIAT, the hotel book keeper-cum airline CFO-cum airline CEO with NO experience or knowledge of aviation, even in general, is rumoured to have been receiving some $25,000 per month for her gross incompetence... not bad for kissing a Chairman's derriere (or other part/s) in return for a plum job she was supremely NOT qualified for.

So look to your leaders - The Fumble Stuarts, the Queen Mias, the Fat Ralphs, the Supreme Gastons, for resolutions to your questions - you have the rest of the answers in my message here. Make your displeasure known at the ballot box, and as the Merkans say, "Throw the bums out!". Except that the alternatives in Opposition are no better, in fact in several instances they are far worse.

Efforts are being made to resurrect LIAT but - as usual - a politician is barring the way with his superior knowledge of aviation, finance, politricks and what his people really want -- NOT.

As in every other sphere of life, get the politicians the hell out of the way and commerce will go forward. Leave them alone in their constant interfering, and it will cost YOU, the taxpayer, big time. Because not a penny will come out of any politician's wallet at any time when he/she is wrong.

Politicians should NOT NOT NOT be in business. They are elected and tasked by the electorate to run the country - which they will do incompetently because they seldom even have any training or background for such a task - but further extending their tentacles of incompetence to private enterprise should be met with repeated sharp raps on the knuckles by very heavy sledgehammers.
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