Union writes to liquidator seeking another meeting on LIAT


The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU), has once again written to Cleveland Seaforth, the court-appointed administrator for the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT (1974) limited, seeking a meeting on the future direction of the airline.

In the latest correspondence, ABWU General Secretary, David Massiah says it is important that there be a dialogue between the parties should be treated with greater importance. The union has given Seaforth until Thursday to respond positively to the letter

ABWU General Secretary, David Massiah (File Photo)

The ABWU has already said among the issues to be discussed will be the decision by the shareholder governments to liquidate the company that owes millions of dollars (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to former employees who were dismissed last year.

But in a letter to Massiah, dated August 11, Seaforth said “discussions held by Heads of Government are separate and apart from the Court- Appointed Administration Process, hence the Administrator may not be fully aware of all the matters discussed at such meetings”.

In addition, Seaforth said that the “matter of the liquidation of LIAT (1974) Limited is one that must be addressed by the Courts of Antigua and Barbuda and not a Liquidator, subsequently appointed”.

However in the union’s latest correspondence, Massiah informs the court-appointed liquidator that “meaningful dialogue with your good self and whoever you choose to be with is still pertinent”.

Massiah noted that while Seaforth claims he is not privy to information already in the public domain, LIAT (1974) Limited is still under a court-appointed administrator and that lack of information should not be an excuse to evade consultations with the union.

The ABWU maintains that regular consultations and dialogue with employees and their representatives is essential in light of all the outstanding issues that are relevant to the airline’s future.

“Furthermore…it is imperative that the unions are kept fully abreast with updates as far as the operations are concerned.”

Earlier this month, regional leaders met to discuss the situation regarding air transportation in the Caribbean amidst concerns that both regional and international travellers are finding it very expensive and difficult to commute.

“It was agreed that we would retain a consultant to provide advice to the heads of the region as to how we can address the critical need to have, particularly air transportation resumed at a level that existed prior to COVID-19,” said the newly elected Grenada Prime Minister, Dickon Mitchell.

LIAT is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said previously that a decision had been taken that would allow Barbados and SVG to turn over their shares in LIAT to St. John’s for one EC dollar (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Browne appealed to Caribbean trade unions to re-think their positions regarding the latest offer made to laid-off workers of the airline.

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  1. Massiah gave Cleaveland until Thursday to respond positively. Well today is Thursday, so wait and see. I wonder what he will do if he doesn’t get a respond from Cleaveland. Why does the union boss think that he has any power over Cleaveland? Not even the prime minister can tell him what to do. And then to give him an ultimatum. Massiah you are damn forward.

    • This matter should have been before the court long time ago all Cleaveland have to do is when he gets a subpoena to turn up for court go by sideline and browne boy.

  2. They are beating a DEAD HORSE they will never get a dime out of this Govt. Time to move on people. I feel your pain but its time.

    • The Antigua government is only one shareholder with only 32-34% of the shares. Barbados is the largest shareholder, thereafter, comes St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Antigua government is offering 50% severance, albeit in a combination of cash, bonds and land. This is far more than the ratio of their ownership. What has Barbados and or St. Vincent offered to the employees to make up the other 50%? Nothing yet you guys keep blaming this government for the entire sum of severance. As far as Barbados and St. Vincent re concerned LIAT should already have been liquidated. And then you would have seen what severance the employees would have gotten. Zero. The LIAT employees should be grateful that one leader was willing to stand up and save LIAT and thereby ensure they at least get some severance

        • Smart guy, they never sold him the shares. They are still holding on to them. If they had Gaston would have longtime make his decision concerning LIAT.

  3. Massiah send Kem Riley to do the job. You are looking more and more like a 🤡

    E really bun you that your incompetent union not getting a % of the funds. They get to collect it DIRECTLY from the administrator. Datta war bun u!!!!

  4. The Headline is so wrong. Liat is not yet in liquidation and Cleveland has said that time and time again. He is the administrator. I don’t know why the editor would have such a headline saying, “Union writes to Liquidator seeking another meeting on LIAT” While at the same time in the article they mention Cleveland as “administrator” and not as liquidator. What kind of journalistic standard is this?

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