The union representing Liat pilots is calling for the immediate removal of the airline’s top managers, amidst the implementation of a salary deferral system that was rejected by staff and the union, among other issues.
Yesterday, the airline’s communications department shied away from the media when asked to respond to the public call by the Leeward Islands Airlines Pilots Association’s (LIALPA’s) for its senior management team – led by acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julie Reifer-Jones – to be sacked.
When OBSERVER media reached out to the airline for comment we were told that Liat would issue a response either today or later in the week.
In the meantime, in a press release dated April 2, 2017 LIALPA stated, “Unfortunately it has no other choice but to call on the shareholder governments to remove the current Liat management”.
Then, speaking on OBSERVER Radio on Monday, President of LIALPA Carl Burke said his union was also making a “cry to the public” for what the release termed “public pressure” to be put on the Board of Directors to fire the management.
LIALPA’s ire was, according to it, raised by the fact that the company did not pay salaries on time. The union stated, “When a company cannot pay salaries on time, then management must accept that they have failed and they should be removed.”
Burke said, “It’s not that I can say they can’t pay the staff, but they’ve moved so far down the priority list in terms of who should be paid when and at what time, that the staff is now at the bottom of the priority list.”
The union chief added, “Management refuses to accept responsibility for the sad state of the airline’s affairs, and instead is focusing on making the crew the scapegoats.”
LIALPA also used its release to disassociate itself from what Liat termed as “industrial unrest” that allegedly took place on Sunday. LIALPA’s release stated that the unrest “has nothing to do with LIALPA and we are not involved at all”.
He was referring to an earlier April 2, 2017 release in which Liat said the airline was “currently experiencing a number of delays and cancellations” due to the unrest.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)