LIAT Airline Reneges on AGREEMENT with the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association According to LEAKED Document

Julia Reifer-Jones, CEO of LIAT(Ag)

Section XVII – Crewing, Article 2 states: In the event that the Company desires to place in operation aircraft of a type other than the aircraft currently in operation or envisaged in (The Preamble of Section II), either party may, irrespective of envisaged provisions of this Agreement, serve written notice for the purpose of negotiating rates of pay, rules and working conditions for such new equipment. The resulting Agreement shall be retroactive in effect. Pending such an Agreement, the Pilots shall work under the terms of this Agreement or such interim Agreement as may be reached.

Read the full text of a letter dated June 06, 2017 sent to CEO of LIAT Julie Reifer-Jones by the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association regarding a commitment by the airline to remunerate pilots for flying new equipment (ATRs).

The Letter

9 thoughts on “LIAT Airline Reneges on AGREEMENT with the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association According to LEAKED Document

  1. Bajan Free Party/CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ on said:

    re-niggeing , never make deals with crooks, liars and scumbags. Laundering good money buying new planes that are very small , cant even carry on a.regular size bag, and very loud,
    All the Nations in Liat are found to be Drugs and laundering of Money, Must be flying mules,
    We want back Red Jet.

  2. I recently read an article in which LIALPA’s president expressed his concerns about the unwillingness of other Caribbean islands to invest in LIAT is affecting the efficiency of the airline.

    Why would the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) “CC” an official letter to the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchel, when that island is not a LIAT shareholder, rather than the Prime Ministers of Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines?

    I understand LIALPA’s concerns, but would not the shareholder governments have to use taxpayers’ funds to pay the pilots?

    I do not believe it would be fair for the Barbadian government to use revenue derived from Barbadian taxpayers to subsidize payments to LIAT pilots, especially under circumstances where Barbadian public sector employees have not received salary increases for the past 8 years.

    • @Artax

      Maybe the letter was copied to Mitchell based on an office he holds in the Eastern Caribbean that has some oversight for airspace/IR?

      BTW WWhat is the latest with the plan to make Barbados a CAT 1 jurisdiction?

  3. @ David

    I have not heard or read anything recently, pertaining to Barbados attaining CAT1 status accreditation, except that Tony Archer, who was Director of Civil Aviation, mentioning they were working towards achieving it in January 2011.

    The topic resurfaced in 2013 when then Director of Civil Aviation, Mitchinson Beckles, expressed the importance of the island attaining the status.

    However, David, the following article is somewhat an “update” of the situation between LIALPA and LIAT’s management:

    St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): June 7, 2017

    LIAT’s pilots have made good on threats to take industrial action.

    On Wednesday morning members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) refused to fly the ATR 72 aircraft until an agreement is reached with management with regard ongoing negotiations for higher wages.

    The Antigua-based regional airline, issued a travel advisory Wednesday morning (June 7) informing of a number of delays and cancellations to its services across its network.

    The 8:35am flight from St. Kitts to Antigua was cancelled, however the 11:55 am flight to St. Maarten and the 3:15pm flight to Antigua operated as normal.

    WINN FM understands the pilots are only refusing to fly the larger ATR 72 series aircraft, while the smaller planes remain in operation.

    According to an airline press release Wednesday morning, LIAT’s CEO, Julie Reifer-Jones said “LIAT apologizes for these disruptions to our passengers and their plans, and wishes to reiterate its commitment to work with LIALPA to resolve any issues.”

    The pilots had threatened to take industrial action two weeks ago if management did not honor the salary package agreed upon in January 2017. The Pilots Association accused LIAT of acting in bad faith and gave the airline until June 1 to do resolve the salary issue “in order to avoid any further escalation of the matter”.

  4. Interesting to hear that LIAT management has taken the decision to ask the court in Antigua to direct the pilots to return to work. How will this improve the IR climate though.

  5. What a surprise we have -our only major regional airline flitting from crisis to crisis with Barbados its major shareholder by virtue of assuming debt and not national discussion. We cry under the burden of 500 million in taxes imposed on our backs yet we ignore the leaking LIAT bucket.

  6. David June 8, 2017 at 6:17 PM #

    “What a surprise we have -our only major regional airline flitting from crisis to crisis with Barbados its major shareholder by virtue of assuming debt and not national discussion.”

    @ David

    Your above comment is very interesting and an important observation.

    You, Caswell Franklyn, Frustrated Businessman, Bush Tea, de Pedantic Dribbler, Bernard Codrington, Vincent Haynes, Are We There Yet, Sargeant, Northern Observer, Miller and a few others who I cannot remember at this time, make some very interesting observations and forthright contributions.

    In my opinion, you guys possess the characteristics that are sadly lacking in those individuals who currently present themselves as political representatives.

    Rather than endorsing some of these political jokers, it would be welcomed if you were to enter the political fray to bring a new, exciting and refreshing perspective to politics.

  7. @ Artax
    Boss …leave out Bushie from that distinguished group.

    Bushie has already been hijacked by higher powers and mandated to whack…. Were it not for that intervention, the bushman would probably still be part of the problem – perhaps even a BIG part of it….

    Caswell is the man you want… he is the governance guru… with the needed balls, the chat, the experience, the skeletons that bring humility, and the commitment to doing the RIGHT(sous) thing.

    David is already playing a key educational role (Bushie remains at a COMPLETE loss how he manages to do such a fantastic job for so long – only seeming to get better and better at it)…

    Dribbler is too lukewarm – blowing hot and cold – besides he don’t like no lotta conflict 🙂
    Bernard is too much of a traditional economist,
    Vincent is bare talk,
    Sarge will always be an NCO – not ready for the commissioned ranks, and miller is half-mad.

    That leaves Northern Observer and yourself to get cracking….
    …and Bushie has a strong suspicion that Northern O is to rich and comfortable to even THINK of joining the band….

    Everything is up to you and Caswell boss….

  8. Bajan Free Party, in my educated opinion LIAT was brambled into buying the ATR fleet so that a certain person could reap millions in “commissions” – the same person went on to do the same at BahamasAir, and questions were raised in Parliament there, too.

    REDjet shot itself in the foot by bringing both a developed-country business plan and a developed-country budget to an under-developed region. Developed-country “experts” and “budgets” do not transplant well, especially when you don’t want to hire ANYONE in the under-developed country. And even if REDjet had managed to get off the ground for more than 20 feet, they had also shot themselves in the backside – Barbados Category 2 means they could NOT have served the US – PR and the USVI are included. So those traditional routes you had hoped to get discounts on never really existed.

    Artax, the state of aviation in Barbados is what I would kindly call a “shambles”, and the Barbados CAD has been a regional joke for several decades. A decade ago I asked the Minister for International Business – you used to call him the “Shrimp Man” – about plans for a CAA, and he stated unequivocally that leglsiation was enroute, in process, about to be laid before the rest of the jackass herd… but it seems the shrimp got a little too slithery and there was a trip slip twixt the lip and the grip. Ten years later we have a new face, but the same old gap between promises and reality. We do have a new $1 million building at Charnocks, though so, if all went as it usually did, somebody got a kick-back and somebody else got a job.

    On that same subject, for about 40 years the Director Of Civil Aviation (a puppet of the Minister) has been a person appointed by the Minister from among his other puppets – the Air Traffic Controllers. Barbados ATC does work, but any pilot – regional or international – will tell you they don’t like it. It has the same feel as dealing with the Barbados Government or Civil Service – slow, musty, old-fashioned, wasteful, and sometimes jujst downright unpleasant. But if there were someone in that position they would not necessarily do exactly as they were told, and they might want to do something beneficial the Minister did not understand.

    I was told that the last time the FAA did an evaluation of Barbados (the country is evaluated, not just the airport) for the IASA/ICAO category, the last thing they told the CAD was not to call again for at least ten years. Barbados Civil Aviation was – and still is – that bad.

    And the CAD can barely oversee a couple of airplanes now, oversight of LIAT would be IMPOSSIBLE. LIAT can serve Barbados, but it is WILDLY unrealistic for it to be based here. If you have a problem with being majority shareholder and not having it based in Barbados, make Fumble sell some shares to Antigua to tip the balance and leave it there. At least under the ECCAA it will stay safe.

    David, this is not the first time a LIAT management has tried to make LIAT an “essential service”. And this is not the first time the regional aviation community has laughed it into the ground. Especially pilots, who know full well that THE LAW requires them to stay home if they have a cold or influenza – conditions which block the ears and can burst an eardrum in rapidly changing air pressures, such as in an aircraft. LIAT could waste yet another five million dollars in the process of having LIAT so declared, but the pilots can all still stay home – LEGALLY. Any qualified, experienced, knowledgeable airline manager would not need to be told this, but a book-keeper could not be expected to “have a clue” about these things.

    Next, in all the wailing, weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and wringing of hands, what has either of Barbados’ representatives to LIAT said? Neither Stuart and Holder have uttered a whisper. Silent. Nothing to contribute. And remember, Barbados owns more than 50% of the LIAT shares.

    Did you know that Antigua paid the bill to stop a LIAT aircraft being repossessed two weeks ago? Did you know that at Ogle (Guyana), the airport is now charging passengers an extra fee because LIAT is not paying its bills there? They don’t want you to know that, either.

    Which brings me to comment on LIAT. The airline is now run by a hotel book-keeper, whose sole training for the position of CEO is to observe how LIAT has been run for the last few years. Logically, with that training she will now continue to manage it into bankruptcy. FACT: You cannot innovate or change your course in your industry unless you know your industry. LIAT is not a haberdashery or a hardware store, most of its employees require professional licences to do their jobs – which baggage handlers and local bus drivers do not have.

    In the last week I made my annual waste of time appeal to the LIAT shareholder Prime Ministers, laying out a suggested course of future action. As I said, I know I am wasting my time, but miracles do happen.

    I managed to get it to all of them, despite our own illustrious Fumbling Prime Minister changing his official email address – again – and abandoning the old one to “mailbox full” responses. Apparently the rest of them don’t sleep all day.

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