A cry of injustice

Dear Editor

My attention has been drawn to a posting of Saturday February 8, 2014, on a popular Barbados blog by regular contributor Robert Mac Lellan, under the headline: “LIAT Leadership Asleep At The Wheel Again”.

In the post, Mr Mac Lellan highlighted the parlous state of LIAT’s finances which have resulted in the build-up of alarmingly large payable balances, including huge arrears to aircraft lessors and late payment of employee salaries. The stark reality is that LIAT cannot pay its bills and suppliers have been left holding the bag.

It is an open secret that LIAT is bleeding cash. As a 49% shareholder, Barbados’ share of those cash losses is a considerable amount.

There is no credible prospect of a turnaround at LIAT under the current board, management and policies. In fact, with regional travelers shunning LIAT because of repeated service failings and increased competition as eloquently detailed by Mr Mac Lellan, LIAT’s financial performance is likely to deteriorate further.

Barbados will be forced to provide annual subsidies to LIAT in the form of transfers from the Treasury or loan guarantees at a rate that would pay the salaries of 500 public servants for a year.

Has the Barbados government given any thought to this? At this time when civil servants are losing their jobs, is it government’s priority to perpetuate the incompetence that is LIAT’s non-performing super structure?

Or, will this failed board and executive management be forced to join the ranks of the unemployed like the 3,000 hapless public servants.

Since the Transport Board is severing employees for non-performance, why does the same not apply to LIAT?

Barbadians should raise their voices in protest against this flagrant injustice.