Government has no legal obligation to pay former LIAT workers severance -PM

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has made yet another appeal to the former workers of regional airline LIAT.

Browne told them over the weekend to accept government’s offer of 50 per cent of their severance as a compassionate payment.

He says the government’s offer of a combination of cash, land, and bonds has been rejected by the union representing the former employees.

The union denies rejecting the offer.

The Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) general secretary David Massiah said the union is still awaiting a response from a May 19 letter sent to the court-appointed administrator of the airline, Cleveland Seaforth on the payment to the former workers.

A story posted on the Facebook page of Prime Minister Browne said the union had rejected the offer of a 50 percent severance payment entitled to the workers to be paid in cash and bonds.

According to the story, Browne indicated that the offer will not change.

But Massiah said: “We think that the offer is something that we would have to base on what we hear, most of us whilst we are not happy that that is what it is, 50 percent is better than nothing, so we never discarded it.

“I mean there are a number of stuff that we still think needs to be answered. It can’t just be carte blanche. We said 50 percent of total earnings of all their entitlements, and they never came back to us.

“My letter went to Mr. Seaforth, dated the 19th of May, we have not received a response since.”

Massiah said there had not been a rejection of the offer made, adding “all they have to do is respond to the letters that we have sent to the government that is what would basically make it”.

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  1. This gentleman really needs a course in political correctness and diplomacy. The people to whom he is speaking have been hurt, and no doubt, feel robbed of what is legally and rightfully theirs. It is as if he doesn’t regard them as humans and hence shows not even a scintilla of respect for them. His arrogance is consuming him to the point of him disregarding these hundreds of workers and forgetting their power as voters. The ABLP members need to rein in this guy’s big mouth before he causes their establishment to implode.

    • Oh please shut your trap. Didn’t you read about what was offered to them??? The PM is correct – no LEGAL obligation. Why don’t you donate your savings to them since you are so caring and diplomatic??????

      • In life we have to always be careful when we speak. Today for them but it may be tomorrow for you. Let’s hope that you will want the same for yourself if you are ever found in this position.

        • Doesn’t change the FACT that there is still no LEGAL basis. You’re riding with emotions and not logic and common sense. Making decisions on emotion has gotten many women into trouble. Hope you’re not one of them. Think with your head, not your heart. There is NO LEGAL BASIS point blank period!

          • Sir or Mam, I totally agree with you that there is no legal obligation. You are missing my point, however, and that is, as a leader, one should always try to be empathetic and diplomatic in speech. The same message can be conveyed without being condescending and dismissive.

  2. Keep on voting in world dictator traitor tyrant liar Gaston Browne in. You have no one to blame but yourselves for whatever he dishes out as he continues making financial slaves out of you.

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