The Unheard Voices of LIAT Discarded Employees

Should Caricom governments be allowed to ignore the plight of former LIAT workers?

Does the region have a moral responsibility to make a financial settlement available for this cadre of workers who having served the regional at great personal sacrifice are having to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Employees’ Voice Facebook Page

123 comments

  • Three commenters were placed under moderation by the blogmaster, GP, Austin and John.

    Like

  • Cuhdear Bajan,

    Ha ha! You too? As annoying as the man is, he is one of us. The blog seems incomplete without him. It seems you do not need to like people to miss them.

    I guess he is not posting because David put him in moderation.

    Like

  • David I think that the Lonely Londoner is indeed lonely, and that he misses we Bajans, those of us who live at home, and those of us who are dwelling in strange lands, even though all of us except for him learnt by rote, are hungry dingoes, silly women, savage, incompetent, and foolishly but happily live in a completely failed state.

    Like

  • David. March 27, 2021 10:17 AM

    You will not believe her statement if she were to make one anyway.
    Xxxxxxx

    Silly u as if she would solely be speaking to me
    Her Role as PM GOES to that of protecting the integrety of nation and people
    I am only one voice among the masses of those who might disagree if or when necessary
    Other than that there are those who might agree and her voice of silence is not an option when bajans are being called rotten by other govt forces

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  • Maybe she has become infected by the virus which affected her predecessor- the art how to perfect silence.

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  • Not only my voice say PM yuh silence is deafeaning

    It is said that timing is everything, and that position is the art of gunnery. That may be so. However, we continue to be boggled by the failure of our Government so far, to at least publicly, defend the citizens it serves, who have been the target of long-running attacks from the leadership of the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

    Barbados today editorial

    Like

  • Cuhdear Bajan March 27, 2021 10:33 AM #: “David, what has become of the lonely Londoner…I am beginning to miss him…I think. Is he in the hospital and unable to use his electronic device? Is he dead?”

    Donna March 27, 2021 10:42 AM #: “Ha ha! You too? As annoying as the man is, he is one of us. The blog seems incomplete without him. It seems you do not need to like people to miss them.”

    What????

    Surely both of you jest.

    Hasn’t BU now gone from being a toxic environment to one that’s a ‘breath of fresh air’ without the hatred, anger, hypocrisy and the vile, unwarranted, unprovoked attacks on contributors?

    Or, perhaps Cuhdear Bajan enjoys being disrespectfully referred to as “the village idiot” just for expressing her views or Donna loves being snidely described as a ‘extremist fake Bajan’…….. and your fellow contributors likened to wild barking dogs, savages, beasts and predators that should be in the jungle; slimy pigs, hungry dingoes, hyenas, vultures or buzzing flies, by an arrogant, pompous, condescending, narcissistic ‘nasty piece of work?’

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  • @Artax

    Could be Donna and Simple Simon are ailing from a touch of the Stockholm Syndrome LOL.

    Like

  • Not obligated to LIAT workers
    Barbados has no obligation to unemployed LIAT workers in Barbados who chose to live, work and be paid in Antigua.
    “None whatsoever,” Attorney-General Dale Marshall declared recently when pressed on the issue by Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley in the House of Assembly.
    “The Government of Barbados is under no obligation whatsoever to make any payment to them. None. They opted for the benefit of being employed in Antigua; earning hefty salaries in Antigua . . . they had all the benefits of living and working there,” said Marshall of that group of employees of the beleaguered airline whom he identified as “largely pilots and flight attendants who were employed in Antigua; who paid taxes in Antigua; who paid into the NIS fund of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda”. “When LIAT essentially collapsed, the claim that they made, they may live here, but they lived in Antigua, so their claim is against the Antiguan Severance Payment Fund,” Marshall asserted in an attempt to clear the air amidst repeated suggestions by former LIAT employees in Barbados that the Barbados Government ought to make restitution to them in consideration of their plight. Marshall pointed out there were “two sets of LIAT workers,” one set employed by LIAT in Barbados and another set of workers was employed by LIAT in Antigua.
    He explained the Barbados-based LIAT employees had paid contributions into the (Barbados) NIS, with LIAT also paying contributions into the (Barbados) NIS on their behalf adding, there was a legal obligation on the part of NIS in Barbados, to make payments to those workers through the Severance Payment Fund. But he said LIAT was not cooperating with the Barbados-based employees who had paid into the NIS and who were making claims to the airline for payment.
    “What is little known though, is that the management of LIAT under administration, has refused to cooperate with those employees, again the Barbadosbased employees, who paid in. So money came out of their pay cheque every month and they are entitled to get it back, but the LIAT administrators refuse to co-operate, to stop them from getting back their money,” the Attorney-General said.
    Marshall disclosed that Barbados had determined “that it would be appropriate to see how we could make some kind of payment on an entirely ex-gratia basis to those unfortunate souls who worked for LIAT, were contracted in Antigua, but who live here”. ( GC)

    Source: Nation

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  • I believe A.G Marshall is correct and I agree with him. The Antiguan government or Social Security Board, should be responsible for paying severance payments to those Barbadian former LIAT employees who lived in Antigua.

    Why should the Barbados government be obligated to pay those former employees that, while living and working in Antigua, social security contributions and PAYE were deducted from their salaries for that island’s social security fund and treasury respectively?

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  • The BWU contends that payment was split between Barbados and Antigua, where some qualified here and others in St John’s.

    “There are those who are entitled to severance by right because they had contributed to the [NIS Severance Fund] but there are some like a number of the pilots, who would be Bajan pilots whom would not have been contributing to the Severance Fund and who would be paid from Antigua,” said Moore whose union represents clerical and engineering staff and a few others from other departments of the restructured airline.
    Xxxxxccccccccccccccc

    Even so as the AG reminds all that Antigua obligation was to those employees who lived and work in Antigua
    Where is the humantarian heart that govt was extremely benevolent with extending a helping hand to stranded cruise liners and others during the pandemic
    How come the govt needs to come and explain their political side instead of during the months the pilots were crying govt did not extended some level of humanity to the barbadians who needs help
    Yes I did read after the long months by which these past employees have been suffering that govt have a plan on hand to help them
    However I can’t help but question AG mouthings when all said and done these past employees are barbadians

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  • Donna interesting

    Cuhdear BajanMarch 27, 2021 10:33 AM

    David, what has become of the lonely Londoner…I am beginning to miss him…I think.

    Is he in the hospital and unable to use his electronic device

    Is he dead
    Xxxxxxxcccccc
    DavidMarch 27, 2021 10:36 AM

    Three commenters were placed under moderation by the blogmaster, GP, Austin and John.
    Xxccxxxxx

    DonnaMarch 27, 2021 10:42 AM

    Cuhdear Bajan,

    Ha ha! You too? As annoying as the man is, he is one of us. The blog seems incomplete without him. It seems you do not need to like people to miss them.

    I guess he is not posting because David put him in moderation.

    Like

  • LIAT pilots say ex-gratia payments are not enough – LIAT pilots say ex-gratia payments are not enough: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/04/08/liat-pilots-say-ex-gratia-payments-are-not-enough/

    Like

  • Three commenters were placed under moderation by the blogmaster, GP, Austin and John.

    Wait the Blogmaster ban Hal. Why?

    Is it because Hal often exposed the Blogmaster’s own cognitive dissonance?

    Like

  • Help needed for former Liat workers
    A few weeks ago, I learned that a friend had died. We weren’t close but had formed good memories over the better part of over a decade of friendship. He was definitely my favourite dance partner.
    Due to COVID-19, I did not see him in 2020, but we spoke by phone a few times about some issues he had at work. I did not know that he was laid off later that year and had became severely depressed as a result.
    My friend died depressed and alone and his body was not found until two days later. This troubled me for weeks as I wondered whether I could have intervened in his employment matter and somehow helped change the course of his untimely death. I beat myself up for not knowing he had been depressed. Looking back, I realised the signs were there. One of his social media posts said, “People do not pretend to be depressed, they pretend to be ok.”
    We are all aware of the financial challenges that result from a job loss. But insufficient weight is given to the mental and emotional weight caused by these challenges. At a press conference held last Thursday involving former LIAT workers, their spokesperson, Captain Neil Cave, said, “Mental health issues among the 94 former LIAT workers were now a major concern and it had gotten so bad, depression had set in for many of them, with one former employee even attempting suicide in the past year.”
    I imagine it took a lot of courage for these workers to be so candid in the interview and to express things that many displaced workers are too embarrassed to admit. We cannot allow them to fall by the wayside simply because their contracts of employment were governed by the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.
    The fact that they worked with a regional airline that was financed in part by our Government should move our Government to offer some form of financial lifeline to these workers.
    Temper their expectations
    However, I also believe that the former LIAT employees should temper their expectations. Captain Cave estimated the total severance liability for all the workers at approximately $11 million, with the pilots and copilots entitled to between $160 000 and $250 000 each. This suggests that the severance payment policy of LIAT and/or Antigua and Barbuda is more generous than that provided by the Barbados Severance Payments Act.
    Under our local legislation, severance is calculated on the maximum insurable earnings of $1 126.00 per week for a maximum period of 33 years. The highest amount payable under our Act is approximately $130 000, except where an employee invokes the principles referenced in the case of June Clarke v American
    Life Insurance and files a claim in court.
    The former LIAT workers cannot reasonably expect our Government to pay an amount in severance which exceeds the amount provided by our local legislation. Nor should our Government be saddled with liability for the full payment since the workers do not qualify for severance under our local legislation.
    It appears more reasonable for the former employees to accept the 50 per cent payment being offered by LIAT (provided the offer is still available) and then appeal to the Barbados Government for an ex gratia payment towards a portion of the unpaid balance. I am a firm believer that some money is better than no money (provided it is obtained by legal and dignified means). Plus, it will help alleviate some of their current financial liabilities.
    In the interim, let us lend tangible assistance to these former workers so they don’t suffer the same fate as my friend. Can supermarkets offer complimentary grocery vouchers? Can you offer to pay even one utility bill for any former Liat worker you may know? Let us pool our resources to assist with their current living expenses. If you’re willing and able to help in some way, no matter how small, feel free to contact me by email.
    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney at law with a passion for employment law and labour matters and a budding social activist. Email: mrussell.ja@gmail.com

    Source: Nation

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  • Good to see LIAT workers (Barbadian based) to get some relief. This is a sad case.

    Govt lifeline

    Ex-LIAT workers from Barbados to get financial ease
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    AFTER MORE THAN a year of unanswered cries and being sent home without their severance from LIAT, the close to 100 displaced Barbadian employees of the embattled regional carrier have been thrown a lifeline by Government.
    Following a meeting yesterday hosted by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, which was attended by the workers and their bargaining agents, including the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the decision was taken to give the former LIAT pilots and crew members a gift of $2 000 in the coming days. This would be in an effort to offset their most pressing needs, as some have publicly stated recently that their savings had long been depleted while others were on the verge of losing their homes.
    Additionally, Government has agreed to advance the workers $2 000 per month for one year, which would be subtracted from their eventual severance payment from the Antigua-based company, which is under judicial management.
    All former Barbadian LIAT employees who were based here, paid contributions into the local National Insurance Scheme, and are therefore
    entitled to severance, will now benefit from expedited hearings by the NIS Tribunal.
    The release said it is expected that these hearings would also begin as early as next week, with the hope that they would be wrapped up in time for payments to be made just after the end of the month.
    In an interview with the DAILY NATION yesterday, president of the NUPW, Akanni McDowall said the decision was a good starting point for the workers, who had been suffering with no respite in sight for far too long.
    “The union is pleased with the outcome of the meeting and we are happy that the Prime Minister took the time to meet with the workers to resolve this long outstanding issue. We think that this would bring some relief to those workers who have been going through some very challenging times. We have stood by them as a union and we have heard their cries and their pain,” said McDowall.
    It was a week ago, during a press conference facilitated by Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley, that workers bared their souls to the country, disclosing harrowing details of financial institutions threatening to foreclose on their homes and other assets.
    McDowall revealed that Mottley had also promised to hold a meeting with the various lending institutions with the aim of establishing a moratorium for the workers.
    “We are really hoping that the meeting with the lending agencies is also successful so that it could bring more relief to these workers. What we are pushing for is a moratorium on some of
    the loans that these employees currently hold, because it is really tough to be paying back loans without the necessary income.
    “I would also like to add that the union’s ultimate goal is to have the issue of severance resolved, but we believe that this is a good first step,” he said.
    Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Barbadian contingent of LIAT workers Captain Neil Cave, said he was also breathing a sigh of relief, noting that while the workers had not received all that was due to them, he was grateful that the Prime Minister had agreed to make their burden lighter for the time being.
    “The meeting went very well and the Prime Minister was very frank with us in explaining the financial challenges that the entire nation was going through, but she acknowledged that we are in a particularly precarious position because of the fact that we do not have a cent to our names while our employer is refusing to pay us,” said Cave.
    He added: “This comes as a relief to me and I have to thank the Prime Minister as well as the Leader of the Opposition, who gave us a platform and who has also stepped forward in ventilating our plight.”

    Source: Nation

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  • David May 6, 2021 3:48 AM

    This is good that the NIS tribunal is addressing the severance for the former employees of LIAT. I hope that they receive their entitlements soon.

    Good luck to the ‘new LIAT’ finding pilots. The company will need it. Could as well forget about restarting the company now. Who going fly the planes?

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  • Will.wait and see
    This govt have made several.promises to the public many as yet to be delivered
    Well except for vaccinations
    Be that as it may the Liat workers after being on bended knees and shareholder govts pressing their knees in the workers neck these workers undoubtedly deserves instant relief rather than a lengthy drawn out Tribunal process having a presence of “a wait and see ” before final resolution is given to these workers financial and social plight
    Time is of essence for these workers to assume some form of civility and semblance for a normal life
    Govt time periods for seeking resolution can be punishing and take for years
    #####Crying out loud

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  • @ David

    I’m happy the NIS will pay those Barbadian based former LIAT employees. The Tribunal is a process that has to be followed and NIS will have to calculate the severance payments due to each person.

    The resident DLP yard-fowl was extremely critical of ‘government’ not intervening to address the plight of those former employees, and now something is being done, she is critical of the process.

    That is the same shameless ‘fowl slave’ who was on BU every day, SUPPORTING the former administration, when it was pressing its “knees in the necks” of those former retrenched Beautify Barbados employees who, “after being on bended knees,” had to wait over THREE (3) YEARS before receiving their severance payments.

    She is now showing ‘false concern’ for the former LIAT employees because it is politically expedient to do so.

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  • LIAT ex-workers receive ‘gift’ – LIAT ex-workers receive ‘gift’: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/06/03/liat-ex-workers-receive-gift/

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