Union wants LIAT administrator to give update on airline


CMC — The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, ABWU, wants the court-appointed administrator for the bankrupt regional airline, LIAT (1974) Limited, Cleveland Seaforth, to provide the public with an update on the future direction of the company.

ABWU General Secretary David Massiah made the call amid on going efforts to secure severance payments for the employees of the airline that entered into administration in July 2020 following increased debt and the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline is owned by the governments of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent & the Grenadines, and while the Barbados and St Lucia governments have made available funds to cover the three-year outstanding debt to the workers in their countries, that has not been the case with employees in the other islands.

Massiah, speaking on Observer Radio in Antigua said “it is troubling to us in the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union that we continue to call on the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda (Gaston Browne) to ensure that Seaforth, the LIAT administrator, at least declare to the public on the yielding of his administration over the last three years.”

“The administrator, at least declare to the general public on the yielding of his administration that has gone over three years (and) … that was supposed to take 120 days.

And so we denounce this sort of silence or dismissal by the government and the administrator that to date we have not been in a position to receive some sort of understanding as to how things can be moving forward,” the union leader said.

Massiah said he was calling on Seaforth “to clearly disclose to us what are the what are the situations, where we are, so people have an understanding, because the people of LIAT that have been working are entitled to their rights, their severance are protected by international convention”.

Regional trade unions say their members are owed millions of dollars in severance pay and other benefits.

Antigua & Barbuda has since established LIAT 2020, which operates a limited number of flights across the region.

Earlier this month, St Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minster Ralph Gonsalves said he was awaiting information from Caribbean Development Bank, CDB, “for a new LIAT” to be formed.

Gonsalves said he suggested to the CDB a few weeks ago that their estimate for starting the new airline was “a little on the lower side, knowing what we went through when we did the re-fleeting of LIAT”.

In 2013, CDB provided loans totalling US$65 million to the four shareholder governments of LIAT to assist with the purchase of aircraft in the context of a fleet modernisation project.

Massiah told radio listeners that “from the union’s standpoint, it is interesting, and it must be known clearly that the Antigua and Barbuda Worker’s Union supports any resuscitation of a real, viable air travel transport in the Caribbean region and clearly this will only be achieved with the assistance and involvement of the workers as well.

“But the clear indication for us is that, while the governments and leaders might be advocating for LIAT 2020, the issue of the former workers is still a very important part that has to be discussed and finalised,” Massiah said.


Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. Mr. Massiah, have you ever seen or heard of an Administrator reporting to the public? Anything you want to know you have to go to court to get that information. The Administrator is a court appointed company or individual. Not even the Prime Minister can tell him what to do.

  2. Union my foot you all should be behind bars from 2020 you should have taken liat to court and put a freeze on all money’s planes any assets wish you luck with getting any information from the administrator as for the pm yes sideline we believe you not even brown boy can’t tell him what to do Lol ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  3. This is so typically Caribbean.

    First LIAT 1974 should have listed all its Assets and LIABILITIES in making its petition for bankruptcy protection.
    The Court selects the Administrator, who hold periodic meeting with the creditors and the petitioner. The outcome of such meeting are reported back to the judge.
    Periodically tge just sets a date for all Lettie’s to report to the his Court or Chambers.
    Here is a publicly owned asset. Some other the owners was reported to have walked away.
    The remaining owner filed bankruptcy The primary creditors being the Unions.
    It has never been determined if this is a reorganization? If so LIAT 1974 still exists.
    If it was a liquidation wrapping up of LIAT 1974; then any remaining assets belongs to the creditors.
    How the spoils are divided up are recommended by the Administrator to the Judge who makes the final determination.
    Here we have the Prime Minister Gaston has made numerous pronouncements about LIAT 2020.
    Where did the money come from to capitalize LIAT 2020?
    Was LIAT 2020 capitalized with the assets of LIAT 1974?
    The Administrator and the Judge owes the creditors and the public an update.
    A bankruptcy court and bankruptcy judge are very different from a civil or criminal court.
    Some of the owners who walked away, seeming wants back in; pretending it’s just another day in the Caribbean.
    The Caribbean media as usual is asleep at the switch.

    • https://thecaribbeannewsnow.com/liat-1974-to-be-liquidated/

      What is considered a publicly owned business?
      The term “public company” can be defined in various ways. There are two commonly understood ways in which a company is considered public: first, the company’s securities trade on public markets; and second, the company discloses certain business and financial information regularly to the public.

      Since you use the word “publicly owned” so loosely, I had to educate you on this. LIAT doesn’t trade on the Public Market. Its Financials are not public. And apart from the main government shareholders, all others remain secret as much as possible.
      And it would be best if you familiarize yourself with the requirements of placing a company into administration. Which is fast different than being in receivership.

  4. @ From The Sideline
    A law was passed specifically for the purpose of salving LIAT for the benefit of aggrandizement of Gaston Brown.
    No one in their right mind who has the wherewithal to capitalize LIAT will do so without majority control of LIAT
    as well as ironclad agreements to their benefit with all parties including unions.
    All the former members owners are playing games; knowing very well their economy gravely depends on reasonably priced quality regional airline services.
    With InterCaribbean placed on notice for it’s poor service, and Caribbean Airlines pilots stopped from any further sickouts; in the next six months the Caribbean will have dependable inter-island air service

    LIAT missed the window presenting false hope. First Gaston was of the unrealistic idea he could get investors to recapitalize LIAT and not hand over majority control.
    Once came to realize that’s a basic to get investors; he played around with the Africans.
    Shortly. within a year LIAT will have no market share

  5. Poor you. First your statement “A law was passed specifically for the purpose of salving LIAT for the benefit of aggrandizement of Gaston Brown.”, shows your dislike for the man. But that aside, you are entitled to who and what you like. But you’re not entitled to your own fact. Trying to safe LIAT was done out of pure economic reasons and the fact that the PM understood what that would mean for not only the economy of Antigua and Barbuda, but also the rest of the region that is so dependent on LIAT. And here is another fact. Despite the closure of LIAT 1974 and the economic activity that Antigua and Barbuda benefited from, our Economic Guru was still able to grow our economy and make it the fasted growing economy of the region.
    Another fact, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is not the Majority Shareholder of LIAT and therefore could not have done nothing about holding majority shares. The government of Barbados is the Majority Shareholder of LIAT. The first attempt was for the Administrator to find investors to revive LIAT 1974. When it was clear that no investor was willing take over the liability of LIAT, the Antigua and Barbuda Government went to plan B. Use the LIAT Brand and start a NEW Airline without the burdens of LIAT 1974. That name was registered. Just the name, no company was formed. Brand Name sometimes carries lots of value. And people sometimes take a patent on them. There was a fight between I-Mobile from APUA and Eye-Mobile. APUA lost because they did not protect the name. LIAT was not protected either. Anyway, many have come during times when LIAT was in financial difficulties and they all left broke. One that everyone can remember was Caribbean Star, from Allen Stanford who was convinced that he could outspend LIAT. But even his deep pocket couldn’t bring LIAT down. And that is because no matter what, a government run company doesn’t go bankrupt. Government will exist forever, we say. Therefore, it is left to be seen if Inter Caribbean could take the market share away from LIAT 2020. LIAT 1974 will eventually be no longer. Her faith is sealed. I personally am not keen on the alignment with Air Peace, but since no other investor is coming forward, we have to do what we have to do and make the best of it. Trinidad with CAL didn’t have good intension for us. And I do not believe Inter Caribbean does either. Unless they plan to make Antigua a HUB. Remember the phrase Antigua and Barbuda is at the Heart of the Caribbean. Look on the map and see how central we are located. That is why we will also benefit from our newly constructed Sea Port.

Comments are closed.