LIAT and pilots on turbulent collison course

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LIAT appears to be heading for turbulance amidst a threat from the union that represents its pilots that it “will act” if the carrier does not meet a recently imposed June 1 deadline to give effect to a wage agreement that was reached in January.
In a full-page release in Monday’s edition of the DAILY OBSERVER, the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) said the association had entered into talks with  LIAT since 2012 for a new salary structure for its ATR-72 aircraft and general salary increases.
LIALPA said after years of stalling and legal manoeuvring by LIAT, including the company filing legal action in both the High and Industrial Courts, the association, “in good spirit of fostering and maintaining a good relationship with LIAT, accepted the company’s salary package offer in January 2017”.
The release, signed, by LIALPA President Captain Carl Burke, also indicated that LIALPA accepted the deal on the premise that the pilots would make it a one off concession to ensure the survival of the company.
“To date LIAT has not honoured this agreement with the association and has even gone so far as to reject our Attorney’s suggestion, that a Consent Order be obtained in the Industrial Court to formalise the salary agreement (which covers the years, 2012-2017) thus paving the way for its implementation”, the release read.
OBSERVER media was furnished with documents which showed a series of communication between the company, LIALPA and its Attorney, Queens Counsel Justin Simon, regarding the salary proposal.
In one of the correspondences dated October 2016, Acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer Jones outlined that the company was proposing a salary increase of 0 per cent from 2012 to 2013; 2 per cent for the period 2014-2016 and 2.5 per cent for 2017.
Jones also pointed out in a document addressed to Captain Burke, that the increase would be on total salaries inclusive of flying pay, and represented an overall increase on total salary from 2012 to the present of 11.4 per cent.
LIALPA agreed to this in a missive dated January 20, 2017.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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