Unions talk takeover of LIAT pensions

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(Barbados Today) – Representatives of regional trade unions representing workers employed with the cash-strapped airline, LIAT, have held talks with management regarding plans for them to take over the pension scheme for the employees.

Secretary Treasurer of the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU), Kertist Augustus, said there were a number of matters still outstanding regarding the initiative by the airline whose major shareholders are the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“What we have in fact impressed upon them is that they need to answer a number of points that we are putting to them before we can give any consideration to a proposal that they are putting before us for the unions to take over the operation of that pension plan,” Augustus said.

“We have some concerns, we have put it in the form of a letter and we have addressed it to the chief executive officer (Julie Reifer-Jones),” he said, adding “we have some information that she might not be with us for a very long time”.

Augustus said that if the reports are true, that would be a concern to the unions “because you have had and developed a relationship with an individual over the years, and as I say this question of the pension fund for the workers has been ongoing in excess of ten years.

“We have been talking about it and what we are in fact observing is that there is not any substantive change in terms of the concerns that we have addressed to management ,” he added. 

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