(Barbados TODAY) — A dedicated LIAT engineer from Barbados, who has served the company for over 40 years, has made an urgent appeal to local authorities and the Antigua-based airline’s administrator to save him from plunging into financial distress.
Francis Ifill said he fears the loss of his severance pay and lifeline pension if his pressing issues are not promptly addressed.
In an emotionally charged interview with Barbados TODAY, Ifill disclosed that beyond the threat to his pension, he faces mounting debts, including a mortgage, while grappling with a medical condition that requires urgent attention, adding an element of life-and-death urgency to his situation.
At the core of Ifill’s struggle is his inability to qualify for severance pay, as he claims to be “held hostage” by LIAT’s court-appointed administrator in Antigua, Cleveland Seaforth.
Despite his role as engineer being made largely redundant, Ifill asserts that the administrator refuses to terminate his employment, leaving him in a perplexing limbo and preventing him from accessing the benefits he desperately needs.
The Antigua and Barbuda government is currently winding up LIAT 1974 Ltd, which was co-owned with Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. The airline is to be replaced by LIAT 2020 which will see its controlling interest being divested to Nigerian carrier Air Peace.
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When the island-hopping carrier collapsed in 2020 89 Barbadian pilots, flight attendants and ground staff were dismissed.