(St Johnâs, Antigua) The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) would like to inform the General Public that its relationship with LIAT (1974) Ltd is currently strained and has deteriorated to an all-time low.
Since late 2012, the Association has engaged LIAT in negotiations for a new salary structure for its ATR-72 aircraft (not covered under the current MOA) and general salary increases. After years of stalling and legal maneuvering by LIAT, including the Company filing legal action in both the High and Industrial Courts, the Association in the spirit of fostering and maintaining a good relationship with LIAT accepted the Companyâs salary package offer in January 2017. We accepted this deal on the premise 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 Attorneyâs suggestion, that 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.
In light of the aforementioned it is our view that LIAT continues to act in bad faith. This is also evident by the Companyâs insistence to unilaterally impose, yet another salary deferral program on the pilots even though the Association has publicly objected and rejected this program. We also made our position very pellucid to the Board of Directors and Shareholders at a widely-publicized meeting held in Barbados on April 4th 2017. Management also continues to ignore the fact that the Association has placed this matter before the Industrial Court for determination.
As a result of LIAT’s actions and the volatility of this situation, LIALPA would like to once again make a final appeal to LIAT to honour its agreement with the pilots by June 1st, 2017, in order to avoid any further escalation of this matter. Failure to do so would leave the Association with no other choice but to act, so as to protect the interest and rights of its membership. We trust that LIAT would change its present course and respect the basic principles of industrial relations and collective bargaining.