‘Utter desperation’ for ex-LIAT workers

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It has been utter desperation for unemployed local workers of a troubled cash-strapped regional airline.

Tearful, desperate and frustrated Barbadian ex-LIAT workers are calling on the local government to assist in the matter of unpaid monies owed to them by their former employer.

Some of the former employees joined the Opposition Leader, Bishop Joseph Atherley, at his conference room at the Worthing Corporate Centre yesterday.

Captain Neil Cave, Pilot Ronald Field and Senior Cabin Crew instructor, Kelly-ann Franklin, expressed their plight as they all have been left in limbo – facing persistent creditors as they try desperately to survive and keep their mortgages or rented properties.

Cave, who spoke first, gave an overview of the past events. He indicated that it has been 393 days or over a year since 94 workers from Barbados have been laid off from LIAT.

‘Not a cent’ in compensation

He revealed that he and his colleagues are aware of the ongoing pandemic and natural disaster (ashfall of La Soufrière). But he stressed that they have received “not a cent” of what is due in severance, notice pay and vacation pay.

He reminded the media that the workers were laid off temporarily for three months (April to June) due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. Cave stated that in their contract, this action would have triggered vacation pay.

He said that since then they have been engaging with the local labour union and various governments over the months of 2020. After receiving a small payment of $2,400 in August, 2020, Cave indicated that while this was appreciated, it “didn’t go very far”. For many of the workers, the stress of the situation has led to deep depression and one attempted suicide. Cave also disclosed some of the legal, labour rights, employee and regional challenges they have faced due to their work status with the regional airline.

Both Field and Franklin spoke about their dire financial situation and while both are coping, others have had to give up their apartments or leave the country. In recent times, the ex-LIAT workers wrote a letter of desperation to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to meet with the former LIAT workers. They are currently awaiting a reply from her office.

“It is a bad situation. As Bajans would say, ‘It dread,’” said Cave.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Traitor dictator Gaston keeps ruining our nation and using us for his creative enrichment schemes. Private businesses are forced to pay full severance to their former employees but when it comes to traitor dictator Gaston’s business, he applies different terms for former employees.

    You voted for the scumbag, now you can deal with it.

  2. Four months and no pay for LIAT employees. Not a penny paid to the LIAT staff here in Antigua for 2021. However, the Guyanese administrator takes home his $100,000 USD a month. And after one full year of faiked administration is seeking an extension, like really?

    GB, worl boss, whatever you call yourself, get rid of the failed administration. Save LIAT. Get young knowledgeable locals who are actually qualified and have Antigua’s best interest at heart.

    All tge qualifies persons are leaving LIAT. CFO gone and left a dunce triki flight attendant, a have no qualification pilot and a retard to run the airline. The same crew which cash it..will theybsave it?

  3. They should have put pressure un their Prime Minister Mia and Ralph not to go the route of taking LIAT into liquidation. But they didn’t. Cause all wanted to see LIAT fail and wished and hoped that a new Barbadian/ Vincention Airline would emerged. Sorry Gaston would have none of that. They would be better of working a long with the receiver to ensure LIAT gets back up in the air and safe their future monies. Cause the way things are especially with Covid, they will lose everthing.

  4. Can someone please tell the Guyanese Administrator that slavery ended in Antigua a long long time ago? We may not know what happens in the jungle down there but us up here embrace civility and human rights.

    You cannot have people working at LIAT for 7 months without pay. Staff have not received any salaries from you for 2021? Are you kidding me? The government gave you monies 3 weeks ago to pay staff. Pay people their monies now. They have family, bills, loans and needs. You get your 100 000 every month give people their pittances.

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