Union says it knows nothing about compassionate payment to LIAT ex-workers

Media Statement

The Antigua & Barbuda Workers’ Union, on behalf of the LIAT employees we represent
and on behalf of all LIAT employees residing in Antigua and Barbuda, condemns and takes
exception to the media statement put out by the Office of the Prime Minister dated 20th
December, 2021, stating that “the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has today 20th
December, 2021 dispatched $2,000,000 to the LIAT Court-Appointed Receiver for
distribution to resident former LIAT workers”.

It must be clearly understood that neither the eligible employees nor their respective
union representatives were apprised of this pay-out prior to that media statement.

Further, the Statement’s reference to the Court-Appointed Receiver is either a deception
or a clear deliberate misnomer by the Government, since LIAT (1974) Ltd. is not currently
in Receivership but rather in Administration.

Additionally, this notion that the severance/terminal benefits pay-out which is put out as
a Compassionate Payment is grossly exaggerated and can be readily perceived that the
Government is seeking to bribe employees into accepting whatever has been placed on
the table by the Government with respect to the employees’ entitlements.

In keeping with the Government’s modus operandi not to consult and engage in
meaningful dialogue with the employees and their representatives, this latest unilateral
pronouncement with no indication whatsoever of the mechanism that will be utilised to
bring “some Christmas cheer to those who have been severed” is a classic example of
dictatorial and marginalisational tendencies of the Government.

This lack of consultation and direct engagement with employees and their representatives
is wreaking havoc on the situation and raises questions about the sincerity and
genuineness of the various pronouncements coming from the Government to settle this
matter in regards to the LIAT issue, particularly as it relates to entitlements which are
legally due to the employees.

The Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union is reiterating its numerous calls for the
Government to fully consult and engage the employees and their representative Unions
to find workable and acceptable solutions to the issues at hand and to desist from playing
a political game of chess with the livelihoods of the current hardworking employees and
former employees of LIAT (1974) Ltd.

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