[LIAT, LIALPA] Blackburn Resigns
Friday, December 23rd, 2011.
Captain Michael Blackburn
There is no chairman in the cockpit of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) which is in the height of an industrial dispute with regional carrier LIAT.
Captain Michael Blackburn told The Daily OBSERVER that effective Thursday (midnight) he became an ordinary LIALPA member to “prevent a possible conflict of interest” when he takes his former employer to court.
He is seeking legal redress for wrongful dismissal after being summarily fired about two weeks ago. He also wants to “clear his name” following allegations of unprofessional conduct in connection with an incident in St Lucia.
“I gave the company every opportunity to regularise the matter. My legal team has been assembled and they will commence action certainly before the end of the year or at least within the first week of next year,” Blackburn said.
He told this newspaper that he needed to divest himself of the constraints of LIALPA chairmanship since in that role he had to act in the best interest of the members.
The senior pilot also noted that under the present LIALPA constitution he wielded “much power” and wanted to “shun the appearance” of using the position to fight his battle with LIAT.
“It would not be ethical to exercise that power. So to be free of that yoke which would constrain me I have no choice but to resign as chairman,” Blackburn said.