Antigua PM says former Barbados LIAT pilots are ‘rotten elements’ who destroyed the airline

Gaston ABLP

CARIBBEAN NEWS SERVICE — The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda says former Barbados-based pilots of the beleaguered regional airline LIAT, are rotten elements responsible for the demise of the carrier.

Gaston Browne was at the time responding to a class-action suit by the terminated pilots against the Antigua and Barbuda government.

Ten former pilots are part of a constitutional motion filed recently in the High Court in St John’s by Captain Neil Cave of Barbados. They insisted that they won’t be bullied into backing down despite Browne’s pledge to end all support for LIAT if “pilots and those who represent them” continue to frustrate his efforts to rescue the collapsed carrier.

“You see those very pilots, especially those in Barbados, I’m told that they are some rotten elements, and one of the reasons why LIAT collapsed is not so much because of COVID you know, it’s because of the behaviour of them rotten elements within LIAT,” Browne said Saturday on local radio.

“They would not cooperate within the government to recapitalize the company and to streamline the operations so that they could be more efficient to ensure the viability and sustainability of LIAT.

“So, after those rotten elements done mash up the company, they coming to make trouble again. But as they saying goes, ‘they better wet their hands and wait for us because we coming hard,’” Browne added.

The Antigua and Barbuda leader described the litigation as “very unfortunate,” adding that if LIAT 1974 Ltd goes into liquidation, at best the former pilots would get about five per cent of what is owed to them.

The constitutional motion against the government is challenging the constitutionality of the recently amended Companies Act which prohibits anyone from suing the Antigua and Barbuda government over any claims against LIAT.

The claimants, who have named the Attorney General as the only defendant, also want the court to order that they be awarded costs and/or other relief the court may deem just.

The ex-pilots are also requesting that the court declares that Section 564 (1) of the Companies (Amendment) Act No 17 of 2020, is in contravention of Section 15 (8) of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda by limiting the claimants’ constitutional right to access the court for a determination of their civil claim against LIAT 1974 Limited which was filed in 2015 and was pending at the time Parliament passed the law.

“I find the proposed litigation to be very disruptive and obviously designed to undermine our efforts to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd and I think in essence too that they are literally undermining themselves, because if they were to undermine this herculean effort by my government to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd and they precipitate the liquidation of the company, then we will have no choice but to distance ourselves from any liability that would arise therefrom,” Browne said.

“You know the saying ‘want all get none?’ Let them go ahead because they may end up getting nothing, or little. How do you resolve an issue by berating a government that is trying to assist you and literally taking the government to court? It makes no sense.”

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  1. Misrepresenting the truth seems the normal these days. The 10 pilots have been in court with Liat over funds placed in clico for the past 6 years.
    There are other cases as well.
    The Governments new company amendment act has prevented access to the court while claimants have not been determined to be creditors. One may agree that the act should have delayed enforcement of a judgement and not a trial itself.
    The court on a matter can also rule in Liats favour.
    What Mr. Browne is doing in my opinion, cannot be seen as anything other than bullying. This is the type of behavior arguably endemic to Liat culture hence why it is where it is today. Very sad for a company which could have been great .

  2. Every group of employees in every company has bad eggs.It is management’s job to weed out these individuals or get them to play team ball.
    But to suggest that the pilots destroyed Liat is poppycock.
    This was done very effectively by the shareholders governments, their appointed representatives the Board who had a fiduciary responsibilty and poor management.

  3. What is this vendetta PM seems to have for Barbados & Barbadians?
    Some embarrassing language to be running your mouth off with as the leader of a Nation that desperately needs investors and tourism.
    Giving A&B bad rap at a time when building trust globally is imperative.

  4. I believe they choose the right photo for this article, as is shows who he emulates. His untrue statement and misrepresentation of the facts of the situation clearly shows he is a bully and the rotten egg in in Caricom.

  5. HON. GASTON BROWNE is correct. They ARE ROTTEN eggs. Hon.Gaston Browne I know that They cannot push you around. You speak your mind. Good going.

  6. These BAJANS believe They can push our Prime Minister. Hon.Gaston Browne will be Their match. Antigua is NOT responsible for Their SEVERENCE.

    You sound like a CLOWN / FOOL . Hon.Gaston Browne is the best Prime Minister in the CARIBBEAN. He will deal with your PILOTS.Why Barbados don’t pay the PILOTS ?

  8. Hon. Gaston Browne…The UPP is using this issue of SEVERENCE for POLITICAL GAINS. I heard UPP saying Antigua should pay. UPP done / finished .

  9. Why the Barbados administrator is Not responsible for paying these PILOTS ? Please Someone explain. SMH.

  10. Weren’t the Pilots paying 5 % of their salary to the ANTIGUAN Government towards their pension among other things?weren’t ALL taxes paid towards the ANTIGUAN AUTHORITIES even if you were based in Barbados? the Pilots weren’t paying taxes to the Barbados Government…they were not contributing to BARBADOS NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME so how can the Barbados Government be responsible?….man you just as FOOLISH as that CLOWN HASTON…FIDIOTS

    • Make it make sense, your argument is dumb. Taxes has nothing to do with severance and pension. None of the governments, Antigua or Barbados, are responsible for paying off the staff. If any of them decide to do it, it is only as a goodwill gesture.
      And for everybody’s information!…..some of those Barbados pilots were the laziest of the bunch, especially that very same one filing the lawsuit, he hardly work but now he want want.

      • So where is the FIVE MILLION that ALL of the PILOTS were contributing to their PENSION? stop making a MULE of yourself in cyberspace and look at the FACTS……now it is time to PAY them out ,allya saying they are rotten…allya wern’t ROTTEN to take their TAXES and PENSION funds then. WHY were they paying TAXES to the GOVERNMENT of ANTIGUA although they were BASED in BARBADOS?…because allya GREEDY PEOPLE in ANTIGUA WANTED IT SO


    You just as your name. I believe you’re from Barbados. Sounds like you like to TURNOVER. We are not like that in Antigua. Also you’re a FOOLISH CLOWN. SHAME ON YOU.

    • @pearlman…..why don’t you say if it is TRUE or FALSE that ALL of the PILOTS were not paying TAXES towards the ANTIGUAN GOVERNMENT and that they had contributed over 5 MILLION to their PENSION FUND to the GOVERNMENT of ANTIGUA? hope you know that LIAT CANNOT survive if the PM of BIM doesn’t grant LIAT permission to allow flights IN and OUT of Barbados DOWN SOUTH….hope you also know that NO ROTTEN ANTIGUAN PILOTS NOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS would be welcome in Barbados either…tell that to your ROTTEN wannabe HITLER PM. who is remarkably jealous of Barbados with a passion.


    Thank you for the CLIRIFICATION. It make sense. HARRY TURNOVER does NOT make sense. HARRY TURNOVER is just FOOLISH.

  13. PEARLMAN & I’m+just+sayin :- Let me get this straight are you saying if your Company is paying money towards A&B Social Security you are not entitled to a pension?
    And if so what that has to do with persons being Lazy?

    You guys need to shut up you are embarrassing my Antiguans ppl stop pretending to be from here.. you guys don’t speak for us.

    • Do you know that the non Antiguans were paying into A&B social security or are just guessing? Anyone who pays into social security is entitled to a pension when they reach the qualifying age. The Antiguan government is not social security.
      On another note, how often did I have a Liat flight being delayed in the past only to see the pilots strutting in late like they just rolled out of bed?
      The Antiguan government has no legal liability to Liat workers. They can sue Liat as nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

      • So ONLY BAJAN Pilots were employed by Liat? and if they were contributing to their PENSION FUND,how come allya GREEDY THIEVES now want Barbados to pay that 5 million? and calling them ROTTEN when they ASKED FOR THEIR MONEY

  14. How many times dictator and traitor Gaston and his “cronies and friends” travel for free on LIAT for “official” business?

    All them high taxes LIAT was forced to charge us to travel 10 minutes and yet LIAT couldn’t stay afloat. All the high ups in management mismanaging the company for decades. I am surprised LIAT didn’t meet its demise earlier.

    It appears when the people are right and have dictator and traitor Gaston cornered like a rat, his response has always been to lash out.

    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?
    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?
    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?

  15. I think the PM should have called them “Deracinated Imbeciles”. The more fit that discription like the BPM members. What they need to realize is that a company doesn’t stay in adminsitration for much too long. And the court must have taken their action and others in consideration before granting the governments request to place LIAT under adminstration. And if LIAT is saved by the adminsitrator the very same pilots would reap the benefits. If the law is found to be unconstitutional than the government will simply proceed with liquidation of the company. In which case they can sue a broke company and get nothing whatsoever.

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