Home > LIAT responds to LIALPA’s August 16 Press Conference
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, August 19, 2011 – The Management of LIAT (1974) Ltd has taken note of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA’s) recent press conference and takes this opportunity to respond.
In a press release from its Corporate Headquarters, LIAT responded that all of the issues raised during the August 16 press conference had been the subject of on-going discussions between LIALPA and LIAT’s Management.
Speaking on behalf of the Company’s management, the Company’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Desmond Brown noted that both LIAT and LIALPA had agreed in July 2009 to refer to binding and final Arbitration a number of disputed items. The arbitration ruling had been issued in June 2010 and the Company had held a number of meetings with LIALPA to discuss the arbitration award and to agree the signing of a Collective Agreement incorporating the rulings of the Arbitration panel.
Mr. Brown noted that the Company had drafted the amendments ordered by the Tribunal and submitted these drafts to the Union for their review. However, LIALPA had failed either to prepare its own draft or to accept the LIAT drafts and continued to refuse to sign an amended Collective Agreement.
He noted that LIAT remained committed to the implementation of the arbitration award and, as instructed by its Shareholders and Board of Directors, had already proceeded towards the full implementation of the award. He expressed the Company’s continued interest in seeking accommodation with LIALPA on the various issues within the framework of the binding and final provisions of the Arbitration.
“We understand that LIALPA may have reservations relating to some of the provisions of the arbitration award. However there are clear procedures under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda for dealing with such concerns and we have continuously urged LIALPA to use those available tools,” Mr. Brown said.
“In arbitration there will always be decisions that go against one or both parties. This has certainly been the case with this arbitration process and LIAT has taken the position that this is a legal process and there must be implementation of the award. We have pointed out that once the legal framework is in place both parties are then in a position to make adjustments based on their agreed interests. We continue to urge that LIALPA meet its obligation to accept the award.
“Notwithstanding our stated position we have agreed to another meeting with LIAPA as we believe that dialogue is important. We are optimistic that that there can be movement towards resolution of the issues that have plagued LIAT-LIALPA relations,” Mr. Brown added.
On the matter of the LIAT Pension Fund the Corporate Communications Manager pointed out that in 2006 the Company had established a pension fund with CLICO. He noted that following the negative developments concerning the CLICO Financial Group, LIAT’s lead Shareholders, Board and Management had moved to secure the workers’ pension arrangements.
“At the same time, the Company has sought professional advice on arrangements for the finalization of a robust and sustainable pension plan, and has taken steps to secure pension contributions and finalise pension plan documents for the benefit of all employees. Discussions towards implementation of the new pension scheme are at an advanced stage and consultations had recently taken place with the Company’s unions,” Mr. Brown said.
The Corporate Communications Manager noted that LIAT remained committed to continued dialogue with LIALPA and all of its unions as it sought to face the many challenges confronting the regional airline industry.
LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. More information about LIAT may be found at www.liat.com .
| Desmond L. Brown | Corporate Communications Manager | LIAT (1974) LTD | Head Office, Coolidge Business Complex | Sir George Walter Highway | Antigua | Telephone: +1 268 480 6222 | fax: +1 268 480 5638 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org |