Trinidad Express – Caribbean Airlines (CAL) pilots are wrong, wrong, wrong! There is nothing any pilot or anyone affiliated with TTALPA (Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots Association) can say to convince me, or any right-thinking T&T citizen, that Sunday’s sick-out, which shut down the airline for 24 hours and disrupted the lives thousands of passengers, was anything other than selfish, outrageous and illegal.
The pilots’ actions were obviously premeditated (scores of pilots don’t all report sick three hours before flight time by chance) and orchestrated to have maximum disruptive effect—it was Great Race weekend in Tobago when all airbridge flights were fully booked; mid-August, CAL’s busiest period, with students returning to school abroad, and hundreds of Trinis coming back home from vacation. Their actions were heartless, vindictive and illegal.
Pilots are very well paid. Their salaries range from $25,000 a month for junior pilots to $100,000 for veterans. Not saying they don’t have a right to negotiate for more money but shutting down the company cannot be an option. There is a process for negotiations—negotiate. The pilots’ actions put untold pressure on CAL’s lowest paid customer-facing staff who, we can be sure, got more cuss than one can imagine.
And I agree with Minister Stuart Young, the pilots believe they are “entitled”. And Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal is trying to politicise and justify behaviour that was patently illegal.
My advice to you: hush! Interestingly, all the comments and online posts from the “disgruntled” pilots are anonymous.
If you’re bold enough to sick out and leave people stranded all over the place, and set up your colleagues for cuss, why are you not bold enough to stand up and speak out publicly? Why, because you know you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.
The national airline has never made a profit; it survives on a Government subsidy, it is highly indebted, staff had to be furloughed during Covid, and the pandemic caused CAL to lay off staff.
The airline is now trying to recover. It has launched a marketing campaign to attract more of the diaspora to use CAL to “Come Home”.The pilots want that money. Allyuh too wicked and bad.
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