May 14, 2004
Two LIAT workers made redundant

Confronted with problems in staying in the skies LIAT over the weekend also had to deal with turbulence on the ground.
The sacking of two of its senior supervisors Jeremiah Howard and Corbett ‘Donovan’ Crick on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, respectively with immediate effect triggered off industrial action at the airline.{{more}}
Shortly after receiving his letter of redundancy, Howard, who holds the post of President of the LIAT Workers Union, instructed the staff to stay home until the matter is resolved.
This resulted in most of the workers not turning up for work on Saturday.
When contacted by SEARCHLIGHT Dominique Patterson, Manager of LIAT said the airline is conducting a restructuring programme by looking at senior personnel, hence this resulted in Howard and Crick being made redundant.
On the other hand, Howard, an employee at LIAT for the past 15 years, told SEARCHLIGHT as the President of the LIAT Workers Union he has no doubt he has been personally targeted.
Howard stated that at the beginning of April there were always problems between the staff and Patterson, so much so that a meeting was held with representatives of the union and the Prime Minister.
“It was a targeted effort to destroy the voice of the union,” Howard said.
He added a follow up meeting was scheduled with the Prime Minister but this never came off. In the meantime he said a letter expressing disapproval with the regional management and a call for Patterson’s removal as Manager was signed by 90 per cent of the staff.Howard said he believed this information was leaked to Patterson.
But Patterson, reacting to this comment, told SEARCHLIGHT Venol Coombs, Wendell Lewis and himself were presidents of the union and they were never victimised by Management.
“As a former union president I’ll never target another union member. It’s against my principles,” said Patterson.
Crick who has worked at LIAT for 17 years and a half said his dismissal came as a surprise to him.
Meanwhile, Patterson told SEARCHLIGHT none of LIAT’s flights were cancelled during the industrial action and expressed thanks to the workers that came out to work.
He said the company also wished to apologise to its customers for any inconvenience.