May 23, 2017

Pilots union issues ultimatum to LIAT

The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) has given LIAT a June 1, 2017, deadline to honour its agreements with the pilots, or face further escalation of this matter. This was expressed In a press release, dated Sunday, May 21, 2017.

The relationship between the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) and LIAT (1974) Ltd is strained, deteriorating and at an all-time low, according to LIAPA, and failure to comply would leave the association with no other choice but to act to protect the interest and rights of its membership.

The release stated that since 2012, LIALPA and LIAT engaged in negations for a new salary structure for its ATR-72 aircraft, and general salary increases.

Additionally, it noted that after years of stalling and legal maneuvering by LIAT, in January of 2017, in the spirit of fostering and maintaining a good relationship, they accepted the salary package which was being offered.

The release stated that the offer was accepted with the promise that the pilots would make this a one-off concession to ensure the survival of the company.

 “To date LIAT has not honoured this agreement with LIALPA and has even gone so far as to reject our attorney’s suggestion, a Consent Order be obtained in the Industrial Court to formalize the salary agreement (which covers the years 2012-2017) thus paving the way for its implementation,” the release pointed out.

The release indicated that because of the aforementioned, it is their view that LIAT continues to “act in bad faith”, which they say is also evident by the company’s insistence to unilaterally impose, yet another salary deferral programme on the pilots, even though the association has objected to the programme.

“Management continues to ignore the fact that the Association has placed this matter before the Industrial Court for determination,” the release noted.

“We trust that LIAT would change its present course and respect the basic principles of industrial relations and collective bargaining.”

However, in a release from LIAT, yesterday, May 22, they refuted LIALPA’s statement that its management has acted in bad faith.

“LIAT continues to commit itself to open dialogue with its employees and their union representatives and for continued discussion to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome for all parties,” the release stated.

LIAT continued to assure its passengers of their commitment to ensuring smooth operations for customers across the region, according to the release.