February 20, 2015

180 LIAT staff members to be sent home as cost savings measure

It is not yet known whether staff cuts announced for the regional airline LIAT will affect Vincentian workers.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves disclosed that at a recent LIAT shareholders meeting in Barbados, it was decided that several steps will be taken to transform the company to improve strategic direction and cost efficiency.{{more}}

One of the strategies to be employed is the cutting of 180 staff members from the 800 persons currently working with LIAT.

“On an annual basis we’ll be saving 13 million dollars as a consequence of separation of personnel from the company, voluntary or otherwise and the management will address that,” Gonsalves, who is also the chair of the LIAT shareholders, said.

The Prime Minister revealed that the company is unable to take action at the moment, as approximately $22 million is needed to make severance payments. However, he does not believe that the cuts will significantly impact those in St Vincent and the Grenadines, once the staff cuts are carried out.

“I don’t know if it will affect us here or at all. But if it does, it will be very marginal. That’s a management issue. The timetable has to do with the other elements.”(BK)