LIALPA tells pilots not to relent

Leeward Islands Air Line Pilots' Association
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LIALPA tells pilots not to relent

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Dec 14, 2011

LIALPA tells pilots not to relent
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua

As LIAT’s operations slowly return to normalcy following last week’s industrial action by the airline’s pilots, LIALPA, the union representing the cockpit crew is reminding its members to stand firm in their convictions and to be extremely cautious at the same time.

All this as LIALPA remains agitated over the lack of support from LIAT’s flight attendants.

In an electronic letter sent to its members over the weekend, and obtained by The Daily OBSERVER, Patterson Thompson, Secretary for the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots’ Association told his colleagues they are being “used by management, who is trying to weaken the stance of the union.”

Though not outlining specifically what the airline’s management is doing that is directly aimed at LIALPA, the union’s secretary warns the pilots not to relent, and reminded them to avoid falling victim to LIAT’s management.

“We all have bills to pay – mortgages, children, etc – that are sapping up resources. So I too am making sacrifices and exposing myself to danger. Haven’t our experiences for the last 400 years taught us anything? From slavery to freedom to adult suffrage to independence, you must keep the pressure on.

“You must follow your contract, you must take your meal breaks, you must adhere to Air Traffic Control (ATC) restrictions. If you have any technical problems, you must ask a training captain. Be mindful of the snags on the aircraft. You are to be deliberate in your SOPs. Take time in discharging your duties,” the letter cautioned.

It also advises captains to apologise to passengers for the inconvenience that resulted from the industrial action.

The letter also blasted the Leeward Islands Flight Attendants’ Association (LIFAA) for failing to support the sickout taken by pilots following the dismissal of veteran pilot Captain Michael Blackburn.

“Their (LIFAA) attitude to this is so naïve and simplistic. Their sentiment is that they did not receive a formal explanation to what happened. He (LIFAA’s President) would have had to be in Cancun, Mexico, or the dark side of the moon as to not know what’s going on,” Thompson wrote.

The LIALPA secretary also wrote that the same basic request was sent to the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers, Antigua Barbuda Workers’ Union and the Engineers’ Association.

“One pilot (costs) EC $30,000 and three months to train, one flight attendant, maybe EC $5,000 and one month to train. They should be on board first and foremost.”

Contacted for a comment, LIFAA’s President Olando Copeland confirmed he has seen the letter, but has withheld comment on the stinging attack made on the association he heads.

Instead, Copeland said despite the attacks on LIFAA, the members of his association are all committed to the customers of the regional carrier.

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