Unions to discuss Antigua gov’t offer to ex LIAT workers

BARBADOS TODAY: Trade unions representing LIAT workers across the Caribbean will meet virtually next week to examine an offer which hundreds of terminated employees of the Antigua-based airline have been given until yearend to accept.

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) David Massiah said on Wednesday that during that Zoom meeting, each union will make its submission on the “compassionate” pay offer from the government of the twin-island nation.

The Gaston Browne administration has proposed to pay 50 per cent of the outstanding severance – in cash, bonds and/or land – owed to pilots, flight attendants, engineers and other employees from Barbados and other regional countries who were sent home in April 2020, and has given them a month to respond to the offer.“There will be a meeting of all the unions in a couple of days where we will be discussing the situation,” Massiah told Barbados TODAY. “I will be leading that discussion … so that we can make a decision as regards to the deadline that was issued by the government of Antigua.”

Massiah said unions will be notified early next week of the meeting.

“We have to notify everybody to make sure everybody is onboard,” the ABWU president added.

On Tuesday, Antigua’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Lennox Weston served notice that the government will withdraw its offer to the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) and all other former employees at the turn of the New Year.

“We are going to keep it on the table until the New Year and then we are going to move on,” Weston said.

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