Government must bury the ‘sick’ idea of a Compassionate Payment to former LIAT workers

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DEAR EDITOR:

If the old LIAT (1974) Ltd resumes operation and call out the workers – some of the workers, or a majority of the workers – there will be no need for any further Court action, because those workers not called out would be entitled to immediate payment of their severance entitlements; where as those who responded positively to the call out will not have any severance paid to them immediately, but rather have it accrued, or saved up for them until their dates of retirement. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP FOR NEWS UPDATES.

Those workers who have already moved on to new employment, in all fairness, should have their severance entitlements paid to them as soon as possible.

But, the whole question of ‘Compassionate Payment’, under a regime of the resumption of operations by LIAT (1974)Ltd would also be thrown out the window. Because, the former workers will now be dealing directly with the Company via its Directors, and Government should have no future direct communication with the LIAT (1974)Ltd workers – including old workers and new workers – except behind the scenes communication with Company Directors. Any Caribbean Government wanting to make a financial contribution to a resumed LIAT (1974)Ltd could still do so in the form of a grant to the Company, and could still tell the Directors what they want the money to be spent on.

But, once LIAT (1974) is being privatized, Governments must stop trying to tell the New Owners or the Company Directors how to run the Company.

I think the Antigua and Barbuda Government must bury the ‘sick’ idea of a Compassionate Payment, because there is nowhere in the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda, as far as I know, to find such a nomenclature. Government needs to stop trying to bully the former LIAT (1974) Ltd employees, and act Graciously And In Compliance with the Principles Implied in Existing Laws In an effort to find an immediate solution to the LIAT (1974) Ltd crisis.

The failure of the Government to act Wisely, Graciously, Forthrightly and Speedily In An Effort To Find A Solution to the former LIAT (1974) Ltd workers issues is raising serious questions of competence against an otherwise very successful Cadre of Government Ministers.

ROY R. JACKSON

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11 COMMENTS

  1. ‘very successful Cadre of Government Ministers’

    how is success measured, by the number of gas cannisters and rubber bullets used during the tear-gassing debacle, the number of people pushed into starvation and poverty by this uncaring government because of no relief given during COVID and now the cost of living crisis?

    EVERY OTHER GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD BAR NONE, GAVE THEIR PEOPLE STIMULUS DURING COVID, EXCEPT THE ABLP. EITHER THEY ARE BROKE OR JUST DO NOT CARE ABOUT POOR AND SUFFERING PEOPLE, INCLUDING LIAT AND JOLLY BEACH.
    ‘GET RID A DEM’

  2. Yeah UPP’s Gladys Potter 🍦 🍨 🍦 🍨 already say to the nation:
    “LIAT IS NOT IMPORTANT”
    “LIAT IS NOT IMPORTANT”
    “LIAT IS NOT IMPORTANT”
    “LIAT IS NOT IMPORTANT ”
    “LIAT IS NOT IMPORTANT”

    Dame Nighty almost tek een!

  3. ABWU. Dem jus bex cause Gaston disburse the money directly so dem can’t get 10%

    How come they couldn’t protect the Jolly Beach workers severance and their funds

    • How can this Government call it a compassionate payment when they are forcing anyone who accepts this little cash to give up any claim whatsoever to all outstanding severance?? Where is the compassion in that nonsense offer or is that the ABLPs definition of severance?

      Furthermore, LIAT 2020 needs the assets (planes, hangers, routes etc…) from the old LIAT 1974 but can’t do so unless the severance is paid out. Hence why Gaston Browne and his henchmen are trying to frighten workers into accepting a BS offer and scare them about the liquidation process. Call the elections PLEASE!!

      • Another dummy making uneducated statements. After you have sold the company’s assets then from the proceeds you pay back preferential creditors such as the CDB and others and thereafter the Receiver will deduct his fees and if anything is left the money will be spread over the severance pro-rate. As I say they are lucky to get ten cents on the dollar.

  4. Severance agreements are not required by law, but employers tend to offer them as gestures of goodwill or to be competitive in their industries terms are normally outlined in an signed agreement to ensure employees do not xxxx In this case one would guess it’s included in the union agreements. National Benefits that are deductible from an individual wages are suppose to go into a trust funds to be managed by National Benefits Board. Those trust funds are raided from time to time by the government.
    Severence is like a promissory note governed by a nonrecourse agreement but not by law.
    LIAT 1974 has filed for reorganization. The Judge and the Reciever makes the on decisions and how much if any,. If the Airline LIAT 1974 is liquidated, then it’s a liquidation and not a reorganization of the company LIAT 1974. When the liquidated assets are sold then the parties who are owed generally pennies on the dollar.
    Those assets can be sold to a new corporate entity presumably LIAT 2020 an entirely new company with the capital to purchase or lease the assets of the liquidated Airline LIAT 1974
    Any court action is before the bankruptcy Judge I am supposing for I’m not aware what’s in the Bankruptcy Act that was created purely for LIAT benefit. I would not be surprised if the geniuses called Cabinet hastily wrote a piece of legislation that puts them in a political bind that gives the unions the leverage they claim that they have.
    As usual I am amazed that this is allowed to fester for so long ..

    • @ southwell what is going happened when other liat workers in Barbados or st Vincent TNT or st Lucia file an injunction in their own country against Liat weather it’s 1974 or 2020 most likely planes would be seized and it would call for cases to be heard in the court of law in that jurisdiction bottom line is that there is no sidestepping paying the workers and ticket holders if liat is to continue business as usual it might be dilly dally in Antigua but remember those planes would have to leave Antigua at some time.

    • A shareholder is not responsible for the losses of the company beyond his share capital. Educate yourself.

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