The Government of Antigua and Barbuda condemns the strike action of the LIAT Pilots in their dispute over money, and the time-frame in which their earnings are to be paid.
The pilots have been offered a reasonable payment schedule that takes into account the cash-flow position of the airline.
Instead of exercising restraint and responsibility, the pilots have rejected the offer in an attempt to squeeze the cash-strapped airline to pay them immediately.
Everyone connected to LIAT is aware that the cash-strapped carrier is very much dependent upon the treasuries of the four owner-countries in order to survive.
These four states are incapable of making large payments to LIAT at this time, given the fiscal challenges which they face.
It is unreasonable for the pilots to expect the governments to subsidize the excesses of their unreasonable strike action.
Since neither LIAT nor its owner-governments possess sufficient financial resources to honour the demands for increases, then restraint must be exercised by the pilots; failing the exercise of reasonable restraint, the pilots will destroy the airline and their own employment options.
Such an outcome would serve only to harm the Caribbean people, and to undermine the probabilities of attracting more governments to share the burdens of providing for our own air links.
LIAT is an expression of our Caribbean sovereignty and independence. Its destruction, fueled by unreasonable demands, can benefit no-one.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda calls upon the pilots of LIAT to return to work and to continue the negotiations leading to their payment in full of the amounts agreed-to, in a mutually satisfying period.