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

113 comments

  • In the end, even LIAT, the largest charity in the Caribbean, was useful for something: it served as OSA’s nail in the coffin.

    I’m curious to see who our Supreme Leader entrusts next time with a suicide mission that gives you a heart attack.

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  • How did anyone expect this Liat fiasco to end…except in some kinda HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION….employees cannot get severance payments, accusations of the attempt to sabotage the airline because they can go no further after what they did , the same crooks were controlling it, with their fellow thieves and savages sitting on the board and making decisions until they ran it into the ground, just as they did to Barbados and its people..

    unless ya keep these small time crooks out of EVERYTHING…FAILURES will continue..

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  • Is the government of Barbados going to publish in full the legal agreement covering the sale of its 49 per cent shares in LIAT?

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  • @ Tron March 2, 2021 11:38 PM
    “In the end, even LIAT, the largest charity in the Caribbean, was useful for something: it served as OSA’s nail in the coffin.
    I’m curious to see who our Supreme Leader entrusts next time with a suicide mission that gives you a heart attack.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wasn’t the fall of CLICO a well ‘organized’ inside job under the ‘astute’ guidance of a former high-flying Bajan lawyer who eventually turned into the political top dog called ‘primate inter pares’?

    Who, so far, has been sent to jail (and their wealthy estates amassed from ill-gotten gains seized) for this massive white-collar crime the proceeds from which were used to underwrite lifestyles only the likes of the long-dead King ‘David’ can imagine?

    If the GoB can bailout the CLICO investors why can’t it reach out a similar helping to the Bajan ex-LIAT pilots who have been left without even a financial parachute to land on their day-to-day survival feet through no risk-taking fault of their own?

    So which regional entity might be next on the chopping block to trim the fat of bureaucracy in order to fit into the whittled down financial clothing Covid-19 has bought as ‘hand-me-downs’ for the financially profligate governments of the region to wear, with Barbados a major offender in the fiscal obesity game?

    Should it be the CXC or Cave Hill Campus?

    There must be other fiscally parasitic and non-functioning bureaucratic entities behaving as employment sponges for the overly qualified academics in the Caricom region which ought to be brought under the knife in order to save the fiscal souls of the members in the sub-region called Caricom?

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  • @ Miller March 3, 2021 7:22 AM

    Why should our Supreme Leader look after any LIAT staff members? LIAT is not a Barbadian charity, but the personal charity of the would-be Napoleon of Antigua.

    As for UWI, I consider the University to be the best managed institution in Barbados. It is a major contributor of foreign currency.

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  • What is happening to the former LIAT employees is a black eye for caricom. Bear in mind LIAT was promoted as the airline that was subsidized for years as a plank to support regional integration.

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  • @Tron March 3, 2021 6:43 PM
    “Why should our Supreme Leader look after any LIAT staff members? LIAT is not a Barbadian charity, but the personal charity of the would-be Napoleon of Antigua.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    LOL!! But Napoleon did see himself as the embodiment of the Sun King (le Roi Soleil).

    Tron, are you suggesting that OSA was sacrificed to the gods on the altar of political expediency in order to get that financial monkey LIAT off the back of your Supreme leader called the Bajan Athena with the touch of a King Midas?

    But you have to admit in all seriousness, sans jestering, that the LIAT workers have been screwed left right and centre on the political torture rack.

    It was the regional politicians hiding behind the veil of ‘shareholder governments’ who hijacked LIAT and caused it to crash and burn.

    Why not enquire after the status of the Savings Plan of retirement that the LIAT pilots used to contribute towards over their many flying hours?

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  • Pilot in court fight
    Barbadian challenging legislation protecting LIAT
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    A CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE brought by a Barbadian pilot against Antigua and Barbuda’s Companies Amendment Act 2020, the legislation that gives LIAT carte blanche protection from any legal challenge from creditors, will be filed in the high court of Antigua by the end of the week.
    This revelation was made by Captain Neil Cave, who said that he signed the affidavit yesterday and sent it back to his attorney, Ruggles Ferguson of Grenada, who is expected to lodge the matter in court tomorrow.
    Last August, a class action suit brought by Cave on behalf of nine other former pilots of LIAT was blocked by a high court judge, citing the parameters of the new legislation. The pilots are suing LIAT for deducting more than EC$5 million from their salaries without their authorisation and illegally lodging it in CLICO International Life as pension.
    Constitutional motion
    “There is a constitutional motion that we will be filing and it has to do with the Company Amendments Act that was successfully granted by Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua last year. Our concern is that the act in itself is too broad, which is separate to the appeal on the basis that the act of stopping access to legal machineries of the court is an infringement on a person’s constitutional rights. So with reference to this, I have signed the affidavit and other requisite documents today. It is unfortunate to be in this position and that employees have to go to this length,” said Cave.
    He noted that should the matter be unsuccessful in Antigua, the next stop would be the OECS Supreme Court.
    “We have been waiting for too long to have our day in court; we have been waiting for about five years for that trial. We are hopeful that our matter will be successful but if not we are prepared to take this to the next level which is the OECS Supreme Court,” he said.
    The former LIAT employee, who is also the spokesman for the cohort of the airline’s former employees represented by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), explained that the outcome of this challenge also has implications for the over $80 million in severance owed to workers.
    Given the current state of affairs, with workers having been sent home for close to a year without any monies due to them from the embattled regional carrier, Cave believes regional heads needed to put measures in place to protect workers serving in regional institutions.
    For example, he argued that the issue of where such workers should pay taxes and national insurance was an issue that must be ironed out going forward for any company formed by regional governments.
    He explained that workers of LIAT were told they could only pay taxes and NIS in Antigua, regardless of where they were based or their country of origin. He said had this option been available, the majority of the 100 Barbadian workers would have opted to pay NIS in Barbados instead of Antigua, whose system does not have an unemployment and a severance fund component.
    Cave said this was a big problem for the majority of LIAT workers based in Barbados. He noted that only 24 of the 100 workers stationed in Barbados would have been covered by the NIS in the country.
    “The workers had no say in the matter and LIAT flatly refused to make direct payments on their behalf to specific NIS programmes,” said Cave, who disclosed that the history of this arrangement went back almost three decades.
    He added: “This taxation agreement was rationalised based on double taxation provisions in the Treaty of Chagaramas. The specifics were put in place for LIAT at the governmental level. As a result, what has happened now is that scores of former LIAT workers are now adversely impacted by this arrangement as it would be discovered afterwards that the Antigua and Barbuda social security scheme that we were forced to contribute to for years, does not cover fundamental features such as unemployment benefits and severance.”

    Source: Nation Newspaper

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  • DavidMarch 3, 2021 6:52 PM What is happening to the former LIAT employees is a black eye for caricom

    David, It is disgusting. The severed employee of any company deserves to be paid what is due to them in full. That goes for any bar that shuts shop, for any restaurant that shuts shop or downsizes and it goes for LIAT.

    The other implication is that it will forever put distrust into the minds of anyone who works for regional governments. Good luck getting engineers etc. What they are doing to those pilots is an acid test for everyone else.

    If it were me, I would be vex as ramgoat. Probably the only reason those pilots are not up and down in front of the airport demonstrating is pandemic lockdown and secondly, probably they want to protect their reputations, to be hired by another airline at some point.

    Any employer who severs people does not pay the due severance is despicable, does not care about people and more.

    You cannot play with peoples’ lives and not expect backlash.

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  • The former employer (s) are governments of the region. Precedent setting behaviour is what it is.

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  • @ Crusoe

    I raised the issue of PM Gaston Browne enacted legislation to prohibit former LIAT employees from suing the ANU government, as well as creditors, including former LIAT employees, from suing LIAT.

    Are you aware should the new LIAT Under Administration fails, despite whatever financial investments made by other territories, Browne passed legislation so ANU would first have to be reimbursed its entire investment?

    After protecting his ‘government’ and LIAT from civil suits, Browne’s Cabinet agreed that a moral obligation exists to pay severance to former LIAT employees throughout the countries where LIAT once operated.

    I hope you’ve realised Browne and his ministers could find all types of nonsense to talk about, such as who wanted to sabotage LIAT, but they’ve refused to address the issue of severance.

    Tourism isn’t going to ‘take off’ anytime soon and since air travel is considered part of the industry, the Barbados ‘government’ should use some of the $300M allocated to the hotel sector, to pay Barbadian former LIAT employees their severance.

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  • @Artax

    Did you hear president of the NUPW say yesterday the MOT canceled a meeting last week with the union to discuss LIAT? Obviously it is not regarded as a priority matter.

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  • @ David

    There aren’t any new tourism related developments, nor progress with the old ones. So, I’m wondering what could have been so important to cause a cancellation of a meeting concerning the plight of people who have been unemployed for almost one year.

    Yet, we responded to the cries of the hotel sector with a $300M ‘stimulus package.’

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  • @Artax

    We are thinking alike.

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  • @MillerMarch 3, 2021 8:17 PM

    Our Supreme Leader’s duty is to make tough decisions when necessary and keep the big picture in mind.

    Our government barely has the money for the vaccine to rescue us. This must be an absolute priority! The LIAT pilots only impoverish, but still live. Without vaccine, we will slowly starve and no longer live.

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  • Does Gaston Browne realize the dent to goodwill and reputation of a new airline owned by Antigua will occur?

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  • This seems like inexcusable skulduggery on the part of Antigua and Barbuda. They received the taxes and the contributions even if not specifically for severance. What benefits did the employees receive from their contributing to the Antigua coffers?

    Some other arrangement needs to be made between the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados. If the agreement made by the Bree St. John administration was bad then our government should take some of the blame and pay a portion, not all of the severance . Employees should bear some responsibility for perusing the contracts they undertake and the terms and conditions of their employment.

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  • @ Tron March 4, 2021 1:13 PM
    “Our government barely has the money for the vaccine to rescue us. This must be an absolute priority! The LIAT pilots only impoverish, but still live. Without vaccine, we will slowly starve and no longer live.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s not true! Your Supreme leader called “Charis” has the talent of turning begging water into financial wine.

    Look how easy your deity was able to persuade Bajans to make ‘mandatory’ contributions to save the BWA and the SSA from financial implosion after both entities were severely undermined by the previous administration!

    Look how, just for a mess of pottage of alibis to back away from his major commitment, your Uncle Marcus Mal(m)oney has stepped up to the begging bowl outstretched by your goddess of charity with the same initials “MAM”.

    Don’t you think his skyscraper like deposit would make the difference between Bajans dying of starvation from either lack of jobs or lack of vaccines.

    On a more serious ‘plane’, we are talking about the Bajan pilots and ground staff; not the entire airline army of dung beetles eating up taxpayers’ money; especially those based at the former HQ in ANU considered one of the most politically corrupt places in the world.

    The same way the printing press was employed to print Mickey mouse dollars to make good the personal losses of the CLICO gamblers by way of bonds, so too the Bajan-bred pilots can be given some form of soft landing made from a cushion of Grantleys to be drawn down overtime and must be spent in Barbados only.

    After all, the GoB would not have to burn up immediately any of its cache of foreign dollars as was done in paying millions to some fly-by-night White Oaks for services which have not landed Barbados on safe financial grounds.

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  • @Artax

    I agree with you that the Barbados government should pay the severance of the Barbados employees only.

    However, the actions of the Antiguan government in eliminating recourse available to the former employees is clearly against the principle of natural justice and it may be worth investigating if it is worth bringing legal action against them for that, especially if ay constitutional principle has been breached. This also applies to the various governments that were parties to the sale, if they agreed to a change in arrangements.

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  • What liability to the Antigua government is there for dumping pension funds monies into CLICO without permission?

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    “the Barbados ‘government’ should use some of the $300M allocated to the hotel sector, to pay Barbadian former LIAT employees their severance.”
    I disagree. Not that it might not come to this. And this plays the social harp well.
    How could the shareholder, in this case the GoB, sell its ownership without downside liability protection? The issue pertains to events and legal which accompanied the sale, not events post the sale. Your pal has been asking about this for some time.

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  • @ David March 4, 2021 2:43 PM

    Who said there was no “permission” even of the tacit brand of tailspin?

    Don’t you recall how that mastermind, the trickidadian Duprey, and his submissive sidekick Greenverbs had all the PMs and top-notch civil servants of the LIAT shareholder countries in their ‘behind’ pockets.

    Even the now departed OSA- who, like a good Catholic priest, travelled on the same airline making its last descent to perform the final rites on LIAT ‘lying’ on its dying bed- was caught up in CLICO’s web of deceit, corruption and fraud as in the case of the Thompie & Greenverbs behind-the-scenes invoice manufacturing affair.

    Didn’t the fumbling Stuart once described CLICO as a well managed financial company by a most estimable gentleman called Le Roi Greenverbs which was, then, a major conduit in bringing economic enfranchisement to many ‘ordinary’ Bajans?

    The evil that those Bajan big men did, lives after them; even in the memories stored in the ‘black’ boxes of those grieving Bajan pilots and ground staff.

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  • @ NorthernObserver

    My main concern at this time is the plight of those former LIAT employees who have been awaiting their severance payments for almost a year.

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  • As well as misappropriated pension monies.

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  • Yes, of course….. I forgot all about the approximately EC$5M that was allegedly deducted from employees’ salaries without their authorization and illegally lodged into a CLICO pension scheme by LIAT’s management.

    But, sometime during 2015 a pilot filed a class action suit in the Antigua and Barbuda High Court against LIAT (1974) Ltd. on behalf of himself and nine other pilots. However, during the continuation of the suit on August 12, 2020, the Court BLOCKED the case, ruling that it could no longer go forward at that time.

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  • Former LIAT workers get assistance from good Samaritan – Former LIAT workers get assistance from good Samaritan: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/09/former-liat-workers-get-assistance-from-good-samaritan/

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  • We should thank Kammie Holder for the assistance he rendered to those former LIAT employees.

    It was a wonderful gesture, characterized by kindness and compassion.

    Instead, we’ve chosen to endorse Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which is really an issue of little importance or concern to us in the Caribbean region.

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  • @Artax

    Agreed.

    Some talk.

    Others do.

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  • LIAT pilots frown at Antigua’s offer
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    FORMER LIAT WORKERS in Barbados are now even more frustrated after a new offer from the government of Antigua and Barbuda and called it “a slap in the face and grossly unconscionable.”
    Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently revealed plans to broker a deal with shareholder governments for a one time “compassionate” payment of 50 per cent of the $80 million owed in severance.
    Speaking on behalf of a group of 40 employees, former LIAT pilot Rafael Greene said the majority of the workers feel as if they are being taken advantage of and need to hear from the Mia Amor Mottley administration as well as the other shareholder governments on where they stand on this matter.
    In a letter signed by chairman of the Cabinet Sub Committee on LIAT, Lennox Weston and addressed to the airlines administrator Cleveland Seaforth, it was proposed that payments would come in the form of cash, land and deferred bonds. The workers must agree through their bargaining agent whether they agree to the one-off payment and also indicate whether they intend to continue with their claim for severance.
    Noting that workers were already suffering as a result of being denied their just dues for more than a year, Greene said the latest proposal from Browne was essentially rubbing salt in their wounds.
    “Some of the already disenfranchised former employees are aggrieved by what could only be described as an insult of an offer, in circumstances where they have been forced to suffer without their money for a protracted period. It can’t be emphasised enough how the rhetoric and actions of the Antiguan government have to this point been aimed at kicking the staff while they’re down,” he said.
    He also argued that payment in kind, such as land, was only likely to benefit citizens of Antigua and clarity was urgently needed as to how equity would be assured for those residing outside of that jurisdiction. Greene further argued that on this issue, the shareholder governments could not afford to stay silent any longer.
    “We are anxiously awaiting word from our Government as well as the other shareholders on their position, as we are not comfortable with their silence. We need to know what their intentions are to bring an end to the suffering of their citizens. Additionally, we hope that Prime Minister Browne’s stance doesn’t adversely influence the thought processes or ultimate decisions to address this impasse in a manner which shows the former employees the respect and compassion they deserve. This, particularly in light of our ongoing suffering,” he stressed.

    Source: Nation

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  • @ David

    Another interesting development.

    ‘More LIAT ex-pilots join’ class-action lawsuit

    Article by: Emmanuel Joseph
    Published on: March 19, 2021

    Ten terminated LIAT pilots have strengthened numbers in their class-action suit against the Antigua and Barbuda government in the face of a reported threat by the prime minister to close the St John’s-based company.

    Six more former pilots Thursday came forward to add their names to the constitutional motion filed last week in the High Court in St Johns by Barbadian flyer Captain Neil Cave. They insisted that they won’t be bullied into backing down despite Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s pledge to end all support for LIAT if “pilots and those who represent them” continue to frustrate his efforts to rescue the collapsed carrier.

    Brown told Antigua’s Daily Observer that he could be forced to hasten the airline’s liquidation while distancing his government from any liability that might arise.

    “If this pilot and those he represents continue to frustrate our Herculean efforts to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd… it’s unfortunate; that despite our best efforts to salvage LIAT and our undertaking to honour up to 50 per cent of the severance liability on a compassionate basis; that this type of disruptive behaviour is being pursued to undermine our efforts,” Browne told the Antigua media outlet which also quoted Barbados TODAY’s story on the suit published yesterday.

    But Captain Cave told Barbados TODAY that the dismissed pilots have a sound claim against the Browne administration and will be pressing forward with their case.

    Captain Cave said: “Browne is simply looking for a scapegoat because of the situation in which he finds himself. He is trying to use this litigation for which we have a valid claim, as a scapegoat in talking about closing LIAT.

    “I have had six calls from pilots this morning requesting to have their names joined to that class action suit because they believe in the merits of the suit.”

    In a letter on the eve of Browne’s threat Tuesday, Chairman of the Cabinet’s Sub-Committee on LIAT Lennox Weston told the airline’s Administrator Cleveland Seaforth that the St John’s government was leading an initiative among fellow regional shareholders to seek and support coordination for workers for up to half of their calculated terminal benefits by way of a compassionate fund.

    The letter read: “Options for payment could include cash, land and deferred bond payments. In order to further this initiative, we request that you arrange to canvass the former workers and representative unions to determine whether firstly: they would agree to accept 50 per cent of workers’ computed benefits as a final payout via the compassionate fund and secondly: if they wish to pursue other alternatives to advance their claim for compensation.”

    Weston said it was essential the airline was reorganized.

    “And unless this restructuring takes place and LIAT is returned to a “going concern” status, the only realistic source of compensation for former employees would be the residual amounts left, once the legal procedure of winding up the company takes place,” the Cabinet Sub-Committee head cautioned.

    He reminded the Administrator that no shareholder government had any legal obligation to the company, beyond its limited liability obligation.

    “In this regard, a cursory look at LIAT’s most recent statements would lead any observer to the unmistakable conclusion that there would be very little benefit, if any, to be derived by former employees,” Weston warned.

    The constitutional motion against the government is challenging the constitutionality of the recently amended Companies Act which prohibits anyone from suing the Antigua and Barbuda government over any claims against LIAT.

    The claimants, who have named the Attorney General as the only defendant, also want the court to order that they be awarded costs and/or other relief the court may deem just.

    The ex-pilots are also requesting that the court declares that Section 564 (1) of the Companies (Amendment) Act No 17 of 2020, is in contravention of Section 15 (8) of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda by limiting the claimants’ constitutional right to access the court for a determination of their civil claim against LIAT 1974 Limited which was filed in 2015 and was pending at the time Parliament passed the law.

    (emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb)

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  • @ David BU

    Browne is threatening to close LIAT if the pilots do not withdraw their lawsuit.

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  • @Artax

    An exit strategy because of imminent failure?

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  • @ David

    LIAT was bound to fail.

    To relaunch a struggling, cash strapped LIAT, especially during a pandemic that has adversely affected the travel industry, world-wide, was a ludicrous idea.

    There will obviously be a limit to the financial assistance Antigua may offer the air line, and so far, there hasn’t been a rush by the governments of other Caribbean territories or the private sector to invest in it as well, perhaps contrary to what Browne anticipated.

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  • To the blogmasters way of thinking the failure of NEW LIAT will be a black eye for Antigua which may have political fallout. The chickens have come home to roost.

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  • NorthernObserver

    I am unsure many people grasp the huge liabilities of running any public entity. LIAT is just a few grains of sand on a larger beach. When public entities are poorly managed and operated, those liabilities grow. LIAT is one estate, I would not wish to be an ‘executor’. Probate will be long, difficult and costly. The lawyers and consultants will likely get more than any beneficiary.

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  • Nah….. there won’t be any political fallout. I believe Browne has convinced Antiguans that the other Caribbean territories, especially the former shareholders, want to deny Antigua the right to own LIAT.

    Remember, in March 2015 after there were talks about relocating the airline to Barbados, Browne said, “We buy flour from St. Vincent, we buy juices from Barbados, vegetables from Dominica and all I am saying to them, leave us with LIAT. We have every right to defend what’s in the best interest of Antigua and Barbuda.”

    Also, recall how he went about demanding a university established in Antigua, with or without the support of UWI’s hierarchy. In the minds of many Antiguans, Browne is essentially standing up for their rights.

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  • What may be missed here, is that if there is not an amicable settlement with the former employees, the new airline is finished before it begins.

    Who is going to work for an employer where agreements are not worth the paper they are written on?

    Time to accept that a private airline will take its place.

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  • @Crusoe

    The loyal Antigua pilots and others in the locale.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    Browne was also proactive in the Scotiabank sale. So he has a track record of “standing up for A&B’ians”. However, ‘ring fencing’ politics is difficult, and that doesn’t mean there will not be fall out elsewhere? As discussed earlier in this thread….it appeared the result might be each country covering severance for its citizen employees.

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  • NorthernObserver

    I would also imagine their is a “pension” issue to be dealt with?

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  • @ NorthernObserver

    I hope you’re aware LIAT had offices in all the territories it serviced.

    So, bearing in mind, for example, St. Lucia was not a shareholder, are you suggesting the St. Lucian government should pay the former LIAT employees who worked at George F. L. Charles Airport?

    If not, then who should pay them?

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    Yes. I think Browne’s intent is to download payment. He doesn’t really care who pays, once it isn’t him. In the worst case scenario non-shareholder citizens is a mix of shareholders+citizen gov’t.

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  • Amm speaking of who supposed to get what and who should be paid by whom
    Barbados Today ran a story stating that dozens of employees of the COvid 19 unit has not been paid since december
    However David interest rest in Antigua problems when here at home many similar circumstances are happening to workers
    Keep burying wunna head in the sand

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  • Dozens of employees of the COVID-19 Unit, which polices the pandemic protocols, are yet to see a single cent in pay since taking up their duties last year December.

    Here is a story that should be of concern
    These hard workers put their lives on the front line and govt does not do the decent thing making sure that they get their full dues
    Shame shame shame
    However barbados have a PM doing her PR stints as usual
    Making herself look good while workers catch hell

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  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    did you READ the article? Col Bostic admitted some 40 persons had not been paid, they should have been, and he had instructed the PS in the Ministry to rectify the problem.
    Nobody seems to be running away from the issue, and thus far, the Minister is taking full responsibility for its rectification.

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  • Isn’t this discussion about Barbadian former LIAT employees who are awaiting severance payments for over a year?

    Anyhow, it’s good to know you’ve finally showing an interest in these types of developments, especially when one remembers how you stood in solidarity with the former DLP administration and criticised people for voicing their opinions relative to the retrenched Beautify Barbados employees, who had to wait for over three (3) years for their severance payments.

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  • @ NorthernObserver

    “In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic confirmed that the officers were not being paid as they braved the frontlines of this country’s pandemic situation. Declaring there was “no excuse” for the blunder, he explained the issue is currently being rectified and vowed to do “everything possible” to ensure it is not repeated.”

    You ‘done know’ Angela Cox would conveniently ignore that information and post what she believes reflects negatively on ‘government.’

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  • It should not have happen
    These brave soldiers deserved better
    How come Minister Bostic in charge did not step in to resolve the matter earlier
    Bostic now coming out to cover his a.ss at this late minute speaks about the insensitivity towards these workers personnel problems by a govt who in the last year found it necessary to do damage control when sh.it hit the fan
    Bostic words today doesn’t add up to a hill of beans for these workers who stated that getting their personnel livelihood in order in the past four months was a struggle
    Shame and double shame on Minster Bostic and Mia for letting these workers suffer while doing their uttermost best to save lives

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  • NorthernObserver

    Sadly, we are very familiar with @ac’s take. I expect her to be on full attack mode soon re DI. Did you see in a recent DOJ summary of 2020 cases, he was referred to as “a foreign official living in Tampa, Florida”. I wonder how they could describe him as such? Maybe that is what his tax returns stated?

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  • angela cox March 19, 2021 6:21 PM

    Rubbish.

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  • NorthernObserver

    You are correct it should not have happened. But it did.
    Now it is being rectified. If it isn’t, THEN you have a story.

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  • Artax u can rubbish all you care to
    The facts speak loud and clear about the lack of concern by govt for these frontline workers
    A situation which forced these workers to take their concerns to the local media

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  • NorthernObserverMarch 19, 2021 6:36 PM

    You are correct it should not have happened. But it did.
    Now it is being rectified. If it isn’t, THEN you have a story.

    Until then I stand by words of “insensitivity towards the workers
    Instead of dancing and prancing about Antigua problems
    Yuh should be paying attention to what has been happening to workers at home

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  • @ Artax March 19, 2021 4:18 PM
    “I hope you’re aware LIAT had offices in all the territories it serviced.
    So, bearing in mind, for example, St. Lucia was not a shareholder, are you suggesting the St. Lucian government should pay the former LIAT employees who worked at George F. L. Charles Airport?
    If not, then who should pay them?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You have highlighted a rather interesting ‘facet’ to the LIAT imbroglio.

    It would be insightful to find out if the remuneration of the ‘ground’ staff at the St. Lucia and Barbados stations’ were subject to both NIS and PAYE statutory deductions (or their equivalent) in their respective territories.

    If the pilots (and flight crews) were not paying any income taxes in any of the territories it is going to be rather difficult to justify the disbursement of any ex-gratia payments in lieu of severance by shareholder governments or others as in the case of SLU; whether on the grounds of morality or equity.

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  • @ NorthernObserver

    Yes, I agree it shouldn’t have happened, but it DID.

    For years under BOTH BLP and DLP administrations, there have been numerous cases of temporary officers, prison officers or more importantly, nurses, who “braved the frontlines of this country’s pandemic situation,” were not paid their salaries and wages on a timely basis.
    I also recall during the previous administration’s tenure, prison officers were in media and on call-in-programs complaining about not being paid for several months.

    But, you should bear in mind the responsibility of payments to public officers do not lie with politicians. So, Cox is essentially politicizing this issue, as she usually does with every issue.

    Anyhow………. next!

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  • @ Miller

    I understand LIAT employees are paid under the terms, conditions and laws of Antigua & Barbuda.

    A friend of mine who is now a former LIAT employee, had to go the airline’s headquarters in Antigua for an interview before he got the job.

    However, LIAT also sub-contracted companies, such as Caribbean Aircraft Handling in Barbados, to provide ‘ground handling’ services that include passenger (passenger and baggage check-in, flight gate control, ticketing and flight reservations), ramp, and cargo services.

    Like

  • I put the info here to show how hypocritical all of your are with the most noted David Bu all throwing shade at Browne
    Meanwhile a similar sh the happening in Barbados right under wunna noses and not one goddam word mention until I brought up the subject
    A bunch of fakers talking bull every day criticizing other people while the shit hit the fan at home
    Mia goes before media talks up a storm about the bravery of front line workers
    Meanwhile these workers not paid in four months
    Isn’t that the truth

    Like

  • So, what if you brought up the subject? Are we to follow you ‘down a rabbit hole’ to criticize Mottley for something that is NOT under her control?

    What is there to discuss and how far will a discussion go, about a few people who were not paid since December 2020, when the situation is in the PROCESS of BEING RECTIFIED?

    We’re discussing a situation whereby FORMER BARBADIAN EMPLOYEES of LIAT who are awaiting severance payments after being terminated over ONE YEAR ago. And, their situation is FAR from being rectified, because they are being frustrated by the Gaston Browne administration.

    So, please ‘tell’ us what are the similarities between the two issues?

    The real “hypocritical faker talking bull every day” in this scenario, is you.

    This isn’t the first time public sector employees complained about not being paid on a timely basis. There were discussions on BU about similar occurrences under the former DLP administration, and I’ve never read in any of your contributions where you showed sympathy for their plight, as you’re now pretending to show. In fact, you criticized those contributors who were raised concerns at that time.

    I’ll also remind of the stance you took against the retrenched former NCC, Transport Board and Beautify Barbados employees who voiced their frustrations in the media, when they were not paid severance on the days such payments were promised. I’m sure you remember Lisa Marshall……. the lady you called a “thief” and criticized for talking to the press.

    However, the only reason why you’re pretending to show ‘concern,’ is because you believe the situation reflects negatively on the Mottley administration.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    “Instead of dancing and prancing about Antigua problems”
    Please, this is about employees getting severance payment due to them. Many of them Barbadian. Antigua is reportedly the owner of the New LIAT, but as to exactly what entity owes the severance, is unclear. Your pal Hal, has been on for weeks now, about the agreement to sell Barbados share of LIAT for $1. And the details of the deal. The moment you figure out how you can tag this on the BLP, and their incompetence, you will be sure to let all and sundry know.

    Like

  • MillerMarch 19, 2021 6:58 PM So, bearing in mind, for example, St. Lucia was not a shareholder, are you suggesting the St. Lucian government should pay the former LIAT employees who worked at George F. L. Charles Airport?….It would be insightful to find out if the remuneration of the ‘ground’ staff at the St. Lucia and Barbados stations’ were subject to both NIS and PAYE statutory deductions (or their equivalent) in their respective territories….If the pilots (and flight crews) were not paying any income taxes in any of the territories it is going to be rather difficult to justify the disbursement of any ex-gratia payments in lieu … grounds of morality or equity.

    @Miller et al,

    I get your point. On the face of it, that may seem the obvious position. However, when one considers the deep inter-governmental relationships over the long term, with respect to LIAT, I actually do think that there is a strong moral case.

    LIAT was never ‘sold’ as an Antiguan airline. It was sold as a Caribbean airline, with the support of Caribbean governments. The immediate reaction is to run to the company / employee contracts, however, the inherent perception could surely be argued that the operation was a collective? Any corporation needs a headquarters, that it resided in Antigua was mere happenstance. The collective still existed.

    After all, if it were not a collective, why the furor over the extrication of each government from the corporation and turn over of total control to Antigua?

    Res Ipsa Loquitor.

    As a collective, there is therefore a moral responsibility to dispense liabilities on wind down.

    I am still firmly of the view that each government will (and should) settle the respective severance liabilities of their own citizens.

    That is also the most elegant and least controversial approach.

    As for the pension liabilities, that may be more involved. How was the pension funded and what is the state of the pension assets?

    Or have they been misappropriated i.e. spent on operations, as opposed to remained invested?

    Enough with the hand wringing.

    Move on with moving on.

    Like

  • Not surprising that those who have their own political interest would simply take the road of detour to avoid Barbados govt responsibility of making sure that these Frontline workers daily lives were properly maintained by issuing them their dues in proper time
    Four months is a long time for any one having to wait for a paycheck
    This is disgusting and cannot be easily swept under the carpet as someone else mistake
    All past contracts with List and shareholders are still relevant many of which Barbados is committed
    Barbados govt silence on these proceddings between Antigua and the workers does not void any agreements or contracts Barbados govt signed on to on behalf of the workers
    Hence now that the rubber has hit the road what made signed in the past towards employees and List is still binding today unless a court says differently

    Like

  • From the comments posted nobody has defended governments responsibility in the matter. What all are agreed about is that the government has owned the problem via its agent minister Bostic and commits to having it fixed.

    Like

  • @David et al,

    No one has any substantive argument against the Mottley administration being very responsive and interactive. Especially compared to the prior inept one. That is not the issue under question here.

    The issue here is one that is far deeper and certainly requires more than cheap political shots that some like to fire, only because their own agenda is to oppose for opposing sake.

    While some of us are already aware of their motives, it is important to state this clearly, so that the random reader knows some of these comments are very partisan and with specific motives, other than improving the lives of those to whom the article pertains.

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    Agree with you BUT the whole is as good as the quality of its parts. The effectiveness and efficiency of regional institutions are being questioned whether you go to the recent governance report released on the UWI which was scathing it is critique of governance policy framework, West Indies cricket, CSME, CXC, LIAT you may add to the list. Is it unreasonable to ask if member states are unable to successively manage regional institutions that many will question its ability to do manage respective domestic economies?

    Like

  • ‘More LIAT ex-pilots join’ class-action lawsuit – ‘More LIAT ex-pilots join’ class-action lawsuit: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/19/more-liat-ex-pilots-join-class-action-lawsuit/

    Like

  • @David, Is it unreasonable to ask if member states are unable to successively manage regional institutions that many will question its ability to do manage respective domestic economies?

    Understandable but unfair idea on correlation. One of the major factors impacting regional institutions is the political one-upmanship that occurs and has been doing so from the 1960’s.

    That is is actually more of a concern than the geographical separation should demonstrate how bad it is. To equate management of that scenario to local governance is not comparing apples to apples.

    It is unfortunate that some cannot see what is before out eyes. The only thing that has kept attempts at regional integration alive is the glaring reality that it is a necessity. If it were not so, each territory would have told the others to get lost long ao.

    Unfortunately we keep being pushed back to one another, by events pushing each to the wall.

    So, regional integration has been kept alive in spite of, not because of, political intent.

    Just humour me, if each territory discovered oil tomorrow morning and it, even with reduced pricing due to changes in world demand, proved more than enough to satisfy the fiscal and debt requirements of each, you would see how fast each territory would go their own way.

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    You not have to look closely to identify similar characteristics in the respective domestic economies where we have entrenched duopolies.

    Like

  • No matter how one slice or dice Bostic late minute comments
    The relevancy of the issues remains and pertain to insensitivity and a long time period of waiting
    A waiting that caused frustration causing the workers to go to media outlets to voiced their problems

    All the shareholders of Liat is duty bound to act in a responsible manner towards the retrenched employees whose lives have been distracted because of the political moorings involved
    Contracts signed by the shareholders remains binding unless the court says differently
    Unfair that these regional govts want to bow out of their legal responsibilities and leave the workers stranded
    Hope at the end of the day the court would side with the employees handing down a court order ushered with commentary that reginal govts are not above the law
    Shame

    Like

  • If only it were so simple.

    Like

  • Not arguing that it is simple but all the pressure being placed on one small island to find resolution is not fair
    So far all that is being said is by way of Antigua while all other shareholders keep mouth shut as if the problem is not part of their responsibility
    Well now the courts would get involved and all that was done in the dark would become light
    It would be an interesting case to watch as blame once placed or misplaced would take a backseat to law and order
    Would be watching with eagle eyes

    Like

  • Antigua made their bed now they have to deal with it. They have interrupted efforts for years to make LIAT more effecient. The other countries are broke and cannot continue to pour taxpayers dollars into a bucket with a big hole.

    Like

  • “No matter how one slice or dice Bostic late minute comments.”

    Please ‘tell’ BU how would Bostic know if those worker were not paid since December 2020?

    Are you suggesting government ministers are responsible for government’s payroll and they know which public sector employees are paid or not paid?

    In all fairness to Bostic or any other minister, whether ‘BEE or DEE,’ they could only comment on such issues when the information becomes available to them.

    Like

  • Artax

    Are you suggesting government ministers are responsible for government’s payroll and they know which public sector employees are paid or not paid?

    In all fairness to Bostic or any other minister, whether ‘BEE or DEE,’ they could only comment on such issues when the information becomes available to them
    Xxccccccccc
    So why are ministers being paid
    The question u ought to ask is why didn’t the minister know before yesterday
    Also shouldn’t the minister call for an investigation as to why the problem occured
    Govt has a systematic recurring problem of placing those in charge who are incompetent or incapable of doing the job
    Starting from the top level to the bottom level then when the crap starts all public hears are stinking excuses and no accountability

    Like

  • angela cox March 20, 2021 11:34 AM

    RE: “So why are ministers being paid..”

    You’re either being silly or ‘purposely provocative.’

    Do you believe it’s the minister’s duty to go around to all departments, statutory and quasi government corporations under his portfolio and ask if everyone has been paid………..

    …………….. or is this the job of the accounting personnel who are responsible for the SmartStream payroll system, to ensure all salaries and wages are processed and paid on a timely basis?

    RE: “The question u ought to ask is why didn’t the minister know before yesterday.”

    Why should I ask such stupid question?

    How would any minister know whether or not any public sector employee was paid, unless such information is brought to his attention by the affected persons?

    The process of payments to public sector employees is shared between Treasury and the respective ministries. Ministers are not responsible for micro-managing or processing the payroll, nor do they certify paysheets and the associated expenditure vouchers correct.

    In other words, the payroll process does not fall within the remit of the minister’s responsibilities.

    RE: “Also shouldn’t the minister call for an investigation as to why the problem occured…”

    Don’t you believe there fact Bostic reassured the affected individuals that the situation was being rectified clearly indicates some sort of investigation was conducted?

    Please ‘tell’ us what else you believe Bostic could have done under circumstances that were beyond his control?

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    don’t fret, @ac has obviously been reading @Tron, now she agrees and wishes to clean out the civil service. Beginning at the the top. The only poor, hard working, ordinary Barbadians must work in the private sector.
    “Govt has a systematic recurring problem of placing those in charge who are incompetent or incapable of doing the job. Starting from the top level to the bottom level then when the crap starts all public hears are stinking excuses and no accountability”[quote]
    Next thing you know, tronfever will have her, calling for a lifetime appointment of President in the new Republic.

    Like

  • Artax

    The question of Do I believe !!

    Yes I not only believe but the question of accountability and transparency lies at the foot of all those we the people elected
    We the people expect full fledged management from those elected and not film flam flimsy excuses
    Minister Bostic said he knew of the issue stating that he received messages and other forms of communication from those not receiving their wages
    The question that should be asked of Bostic why did it take so long for him to intervene
    Barbados system of govt is run by cover ups and corruption
    In my opinion that is why it took Bostic so long to open mouth
    Had not these workers gone to the media with this sad and despicable story
    Bostic would have said nothing
    This shameful story says plenty on how this govt likes to hid it’s dirty laundry and quick to use media outlets for damage control
    Shame on Bostic for saying he knew of the issue but said or did nothing until the workers spoke out via media

    Like

  • Bostic in his own words

    “I don’t know the numbers that have been affected, but they were sufficient enough to cause me to look at it, because people were actually sending me messages and forwarding messages from other persons to me.

    Now the question that Bostic needs to answer
    When did u know and what did u know

    Hard to believe that all these workers affected only communicated with you two days ago before the story hit the media
    Mostly likely these workers attempt to reach you went unanswered and they took the next foot forward heading to media
    Shameless rats all of u

    Like

  • angela cox March 21, 2021 6:17 AM

    RE: “Yes I not only believe but the question of accountability and transparency lies at the foot of all those we the people elected. We the people expect full fledged management from those elected and not film flam flimsy excuses.”

    I agree with you 100%. But, you’re essentially BLAMING Bostic for something that does not fall within the remit of his responsibilities.

    RE: “Minister Bostic said he knew of the issue stating that he received messages and other forms of communication from those not receiving their wages. The question that should be asked of Bostic why did it take so long for him to intervene.”

    You’re being silly once more.

    According to the ‘Barbados Today’ March 19, 2021 article, “in an exclusive interview on Thursday (March 18, 2021), Bostic confirmed that the officers were not being paid.”
    Also, he “admitted that after receiving numerous complaints, he INSTRUCTED permanent secretary Janet Philips to INVESTIGATE the MATTER.”

    Based on that report, how could you determine the duration of time Bostic took to address the issue, was “too long?”

    RE: “In my opinion that is why it took Bostic so long to open mouth.”

    Well, whether they are correct, wrong, unreasonable or silly, you’re entitled to your opinions.

    RE: “Had not these workers gone to the media with this sad and despicable story. Bostic would have said nothing.”

    How do you know “Bostic would have said nothing?” Unless you’re a ‘mind reader,’ you wouldn’t know that.

    The “workers” went to the media, which in turn interviewed Bostic.

    “In an exclusive INTERVIEW on Thursday, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic confirmed that the officers were not being paid as they braved the frontlines of this country’s pandemic situation. Declaring there was “no excuse” for the blunder, he explained the issue is currently being rectified and vowed to do “everything possible” to ensure it is not repeated.”

    By the way, aren’t YOU the SAME individual who condemned retrenched workers for going to the media to complain about not being paid their severance on the days promised by the former DLP administration?

    I know you remember Lisa Marshall.

    Like

  • Artax
    According to u no blame should be place on Bostic
    However he finds it necessary to be a spoke person of damage control
    Then why his interaction
    Maybe u ought to reread my last comment in Bostic words as to what Bostic knew before the story hit the press
    Also if what u purport as no blame towards Bostic
    Why would the workers single him out asking for help
    One would most likely believe as Minister in charge of COVID communication matters he would be of more importance to dealing with such matters
    Btw I asked u a question in reference to permanent secretaries and their accountability as to whom do they answer (to) still awaiting your answer

    Like

  • angela cox March 21, 2021 8:28 AM

    RE: “According to u no blame should be place on Bostic. However he finds it necessary to be a spoke person of damage control. Then why his interaction? Also if what u purport as no blame towards Bostic, Why would the workers single him out asking for help?”

    Why should Bostic be blamed and what damage control are you referring to? Are you ‘saying’ he should be blamed because “the workers singled him out asking for help?” You can’t be serious.

    The unpaid employees sought the help of Bostic, who in turn asked the PS to investigate, after which he told them the situation is being rectified and gave the assurance it won’t reoccur. End of story.

    The only reason you’re trying to ‘create a mountain out of a mole hill’ of this situation, is because you would go to any length, even into the ‘realm of absurdity,’ in an attempt to discredit the current administration. That’s what you live for.

    RE: “One would most likely believe as Minister in charge of COVID communication matters he would be of more importance to dealing with such matters.”

    Since when it is the responsibility of a minister to deal with administrative issues such as payroll?

    RE: “Btw I asked u a question in reference to permanent secretaries and their accountability as to whom do they answer (to) still awaiting your answer.”

    I already answered. I ‘said’ I’m awaiting a call from CXC to find out if they continued with the examination on how we are ruled.
    But then again, over the years, and even this morning as well, I’ve asked you several questions, for which I’m still awaiting the answers.

    I’m sure if your mate was in discussion with another individual who was making similar comments, by now he would have already addressed them by terms such as “the village idiot, idiot, fool, buffoon, clown” and opine their inability to think rationally is as a result of ‘learning by rote.’

    Anyhow, I’ll end by quoting ‘2 BU regulars.’ “I’m out of this discussion, because it’s becoming silly.” “You may have the last word.”

    Like

  • https://barbadostoday.bb/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-10-at-7.52.51-AM-1024×498-1-730×456.jpeg
    Antigua PM says former Barbados LIAT pilots are ‘rotten elements’ who destroyed the airline

    Article by
    Barbados Today
    Published on
    March 22, 2021

    CARIBBEAN NEWS SERVICE — The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda says former Barbados-based pilots of the beleaguered regional airline LIAT, are rotten elements responsible for the demise of the carrier.

    Gaston Browne was at the time responding to a class-action suit by the terminated pilots against the Antigua and Barbuda government.

    Ten former pilots are part of a constitutional motion filed recently in the High Court in St John’s by Captain Neil Cave of Barbados. They insisted that they won’t be bullied into backing down despite Browne’s pledge to end all support for LIAT if “pilots and those who represent them” continue to frustrate his efforts to rescue the collapsed carrier.

    “You see those very pilots, especially those in Barbados, I’m told that they are some rotten elements, and one of the reasons why LIAT collapsed is not so much because of COVID you know, it’s because of the behaviour of them rotten elements within LIAT,” Browne said Saturday on local radio.

    “They would not cooperate within the government to recapitalize the company and to streamline the operations so that they could be more efficient to ensure the viability and sustainability of LIAT.

    “So, after those rotten elements done mash up the company, they coming to make trouble again. But as they saying goes, ‘they better wet their hands and wait for us because we coming hard,’” Browne added.

    The Antigua and Barbuda leader described the litigation as “very unfortunate,” adding that if LIAT 1974 Ltd goes into liquidation, at best the former pilots would get about five per cent of what is owed to them.

    The constitutional motion against the government is challenging the constitutionality of the recently amended Companies Act which prohibits anyone from suing the Antigua and Barbuda government over any claims against LIAT.

    The claimants, who have named the Attorney General as the only defendant, also want the court to order that they be awarded costs and/or other relief the court may deem just.

    The ex-pilots are also requesting that the court declares that Section 564 (1) of the Companies (Amendment) Act No 17 of 2020, is in contravention of Section 15 (8) of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda by limiting the claimants’ constitutional right to access the court for a determination of their civil claim against LIAT 1974 Limited which was filed in 2015 and was pending at the time Parliament passed the law.

    “I find the proposed litigation to be very disruptive and obviously designed to undermine our efforts to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd and I think in essence too that they are literally undermining themselves, because if they were to undermine this herculean effort by my government to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd and they precipitate the liquidation of the company, then we will have no choice but to distance ourselves from any liability that would arise therefrom,” Browne said.

    “You know the saying ‘want all get none?’ Let them go ahead because they may end up getting nothing, or little. How do you resolve an issue by berating a government that is trying to assist you and literally taking the government to court? It makes no sense.”

    Like

  • Do more to help LIAT workers, says Atherley
    OPPOSITION LEADER Bishop Joseph Atherley is urging Government to do more to help Barbadians employed by LIAT, whom he said are suffering “serious hardship and stress”.
    Atherley said that notwithstanding the complexities of the regional carrier’s situation, including that it was “under administration” in Antigua and Barbuda, “we are talking about Barbadian workers”.
    The St Michael West representative told Parliament the Mia Amor Mottley administration “should be more robust, in my view, as to what it does to address their situation”.
    He was speaking yesterday during the Estimates Debate in the House of Assembly.
    “Some of these people, I am made to realise, are having to depend on the generosity and charity of people to provide even some of the more basic necessities for life. This is a story that we can’t close our eyes, mind, or shut our ears to. This is something that the Government should be heard on,” he asserted.
    “Antigua has been speaking loudly in defiance of the rest of the Caribbean on this matter, I don’t know if Barbados has been speaking quietly but its voice needs, in my view, to be heard. Its hands need to be felt. Its actions need to be apparent . . . that something is being done to address these people’s plight.
    “There are mortgages to be serviced, people have lost their homes already, people are now falling victim to the arduous and diligent efforts of collection agencies.”
    Atherley said he understood the 100 Barbadians received “a one-off payment” of $2 400 in August last year, but this was the equivalent of about $300 a month, “less than the minimum wage that you are proposing”.
    He added that while some of the workers “have had [Barbados National Insurance Scheme] responses to their plight”, the majority of them had national insurance arrangements in Antigua. He said this had them “in a serious disadvantage which has brought about serious hardship and stress”.
    “As I understand it . . . the company right now is protected from lawsuits because of the administrative measures around the whole business of LIAT . . . so you can’t take anybody to any civil court to get action, you have got to wait and you are at the mercy of a government in Antigua, you are at the mercy of a Government in Barbados, and you are caught between a rock and a hard place, and you suffer in quiet as a group of a hundred Barbadians who should know a better experience,” said Atherley.
    “If the Government cares, the Government needs to shout more loudly. The Government needs to be more proactive in what it is doing to redress this situation and ensuring that these people are helped.”
    (SC)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    This thread has died quickly….even as Lil Hitler spoke aggressively. Gaston seems to have silenced his former partners. Or they are showing extreme restraint.

    Like

  • What purpwill it serve to engage the man? Mottley has already stated she has no intention of shouting across the sea on the matter with Browne.

    Like

  • Pilots blast Browne ‘insult’
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    FORMER LIAT PILOTS from Barbados say they are “highly insulted” at being labelled “rotten elements” by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
    Pilot Captain Neil Cave told the MIDWEEK NATION the behaviour displayed by the prime minister during his Browne And Browne radio show on Pointe FM 99.1 over the weekend was but a taste of the type of discrimination Barbadian employees of the Antigua-based airline had suffered for years.
    Other incensed pilots also said they were seeking legal advice on Browne’s “disparaging” remarks.
    “It is disgusting that he is attacking us openly in this way, but at the same time we are not surprised. This type of treatment that Gaston Browne is now spewing at us down here is stuff that we are too familiar with. We have experienced this for years,” Cave said.
    “We were victimised for years and this was strictly along national lines, even though Barbados has been paying the bills for years. What it boils down to is nothing short of discrimination.”
    On his radio show last Saturday night, Browne took umbrage with a constitutional challenge filed by Cave recently to Antigua and Barbuda’s Companies Amendment Act 2020, the legislation that gives LIAT carte blanche protection from any legal challenge from creditors.
    Behaviour
    Last August, a class action suit brought by Cave on behalf of nine former pilots of LIAT was blocked by a High Court judge, citing the parameters of the new legislation. The pilots are suing LIAT for deducting more than EC$5 million from their salaries without their authorisation, and illegally lodging it in CLICO International Life as pension.
    However, Browne said on Saturday the pilots were attacking the government that had been trying to help them.
    “But you know, you see those very pilots, especially the ones in Barbados, I am told they are some rotten elements. One of the reasons, too, why LIAT collapsed is not so much because of COVID, you know. It is because of the behaviour of the rotten elements within LIAT who refused to cooperate with the government to recapitalise the company, and to streamline operations so that they could be more efficient and ensure the sustainability and viability of LIAT. So, after those rotten elements mash up the company, they come to make trouble again,” the prime minister said.
    He added: “They don’t recognise they are doing themselves a disservice . . . . Which airline within the region or perhaps beyond they think would employ them? Where are they going to get a sensible reference going forward? They are not thinking about the long-term effects of what they are doing.”
    Cave said he believed Browne’s comments could only be seen as a veiled threat to future hiring of Barbadian pilots who had been employed by the company, and must not be allowed to stand.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • @ NorthernObserver

    Threads such as this would “die quickly,” because people seem to be more interested in ‘discussing’ Trump, Mehgan and the Prince Harry, etc. Then, you have the ‘resident distractor’ who adores in attempting to purposely distract away from the substantive topic to one they believe reflects negatively on ‘government.’ I hope you noticed how ‘fast and furious’ their comments were coming, after Lennox Weston’s attack on Mottley.

    You’re correct NO. “Lil Hitler” has been “speaking aggressively.” Perhaps because he styles his moustache similar to that of Hitler, Gaston believes he should mimic the ‎Führer’s antics. But, he should also bear in mind the comedian Charlie Chaplin styled his moustache similarly as well.

    However, since the former pilots are not ‘backing down’ after being threatened by Browne, he has now shifted blame from Mottley and Gonsalves for LIAT’s demise, to the Barbadian pilots, whom he described as “rotten elements.” Gaston has essentially ‘set up’ Barbadians to be blamed if Antigua withdraws financial support from the airline.

    I have to agree with Atherley. The PM needs to be reminded LIAT is not her personal company. She has been silent on this issue for far too long. Mottley owes the Barbadian taxpayers an explanation of the terms and conditions relative to the sale of our 49.4% shares in the airline.
    She also needs respond to Weston’s allegations, as well as the recent outburst of criticisms and ‘muscular language’ coming from Antigua.

    Like

  • I agree with Atherley barbadian pilots should and must be taken care of
    Our govt has made a decision to use a silent ear against these pilots
    However not so was the case when tourist complained about their hardships under govt protocols when their financial resources were drained because of govt tardiness in delivering Covid results in a timely manner
    Or even govt stepping up to the wicket to fight on behalf of those people who had invaded land illegally as their place of abode
    Govt in that case had put in place a mean of helping these people get housing at taxpayers expense
    However in the case of the barbadian pilots govt is stoned deaf

    Like

  • (Quote):
    Atherley said he understood the 100 Barbadians received “a one-off payment” of $2 400 in August last year, but this was the equivalent of about $300 a month, “less than the minimum wage that you are proposing”. (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is a bit confusing. Did those “100 Barbadians” include the ‘Bajan pilots’?

    We were given the impression that the vast majority of the ground staff ‘were’ employed by third parties contracted by LIAT to handle its ground operations at the Barbados station.

    Much more light needs to be shed here.

    If the ground handling crew were employed by Barbados-based contractors then those contractors and the Barbados NIS have both a legal and moral responsibility for any severance and social security payments due to the workers.

    However, should those workers have been directly employed by LIAT- like the pilots and aircrew- then Crusoe’s well argued case for a moral commitment by the Government of Barbados towards those Barbadian nationals needs to be revisited in a more humanitarianly favourable light.

    Were the LIAT ground staff members of any of the local trade unions?
    And if so, what are their trade unions position?

    The major downside to Crusoe’s proposal -which the miller initially proffered but was quickly dismissed out of hand by the ‘refereeing’ Blogmaster-is that the aircrew and those who were hired and remunerated directly by LIAT may have been in constant receipt of tax-free salaries and allowances (perks) thereby not making any direct contributions to the common pot in Barbados from which they could now be asking other Barbadian workers and residents to underwrite as compensation for the loss of their ‘high-flying’ income taxes and duty-free jobs and lifestyles.

    Crusoe’s position is also supported by the regulatory failure of both the Antiguan and Barbadian governments regarding the workers pension arrangements.

    What is the status of the pilots’ (and possibly aircrew) contributions to the CLICO-controlled pension scheme?

    Who has been held responsible for this glaring dereliction of ‘regulatory’ duty and where are the legally-required assets backing the investment of the pilots’ salaries and their families deferred consumption?

    Maybe this LIAT’ crash’ is too hot a potato for the ‘Mum’ PM to handle and might be just hoping, that with the passage of ‘air’ time, it would burn itself out on the ground like the same CLICO fiasco.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    Agreed. No need to ‘shout across the seas’, but some form of statement on the Barbados position on the matter. It doesn’t have to be ‘muscular’.
    I ‘believe’ there were also a number of Barbadian born and raised employees who made Antigua their home.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver March 24, 2021 12:26 PM #: “I ‘believe’ there were also a number of Barbadian born and raised employees who made Antigua their home.”

    @ NorthernObserver

    It’s a fact. For example, former Barbados and West Indies fast bowler….. and former LIAT pilot, Patterson Thompson lives in Antigua.

    And, there are several Barbadians working in Antigua, especially in the police and fire services

    Like

  • Gaston mad.

    Bajan pilots vow to press on
    This is an open letter prepared by a number of pilots from Barbados, which responds directly to the recent comments made by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne on his radio show ( The Browne & Browne Show) on Saturday, March 20.
    We write in defence of all Barbadian pilots – past, present and future. We take note of your potentially damaging statements made on Point FM 99.1 on Saturday, March 20, 2021, during The Browne & Browne Show.
    Admittedly, the statements are most unfortunate coming from a prime minister who often claims to be a fierce proponent of the regional integration movement.
    Barbadian pilots, along with many others from around the region, have diligently and professionally conducted themselves in keeping LIAT aloft for decades.
    Indeed, it is well established that your own country has been a major benefactor of its lengthy operation. We laboured in the name of regional connectivity despite years of abuse and discriminatory treatment within LIAT.
    We also wish to remind you that throughout the year 2020 alone, you publicly declared that LIAT’s demise was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by scathing attacks on your own prime ministerial colleagues in Barbados and St Vincent, blaming them for sabotaging LIAT.
    As those attacks on your colleagues have been almost totally ignored, you are evidently now placing sole accountability on the backs of the former Barbadian pilots, now cruelly dismissed without due compensation.
    Yet, no mention whatsoever
    of the widely known gross mismanagement of the company over the years, and even most recently while in administration. This serves to bring your credibility and ultimate motivations further into question.
    With respect to your misplaced view of the motive for the existing constitutional motion, this motion was brought so as not to severely prejudice the claimants in a matter that was before the courts approximately five years before the Antigua Companies Amendment Act 2020 that you vehemently defend. It is, therefore, false to insinuate that it is aimed at disrupting your efforts to revive LIAT.
    Prime Minister Browne, you have effectively made clear to the region that a lawsuit claiming the unlawful removal of over $5 million from our salaries has no place before the Antigua and Barbuda courts of law. Where, then, are we expected to seek justice for a wrong which predates the sweeping legislation imposed by your government and blocks all access to the court system?
    One thing which your comments have certainly accomplished, sir, is to underscore the credibility of the numerous allegations of victimisation highlighted by Barbadians working in LIAT over the years, many of which remain unresolved before the courts to this day.
    The overwhelming support demonstrated to our plight continues. Your flagrant attempts, in our opinion, to misrepresent the facts of the entire LIAT fiasco to the Caribbean people are not going unnoticed.
    The blatant hostility towards Barbadians will not lower us into the proverbial gutter. With many of us having served in Antigua, we are satisfied that the type of divisive rhetoric expressed by you does not reflect the sentiment of a large cross section of the people of that nation.
    We believe we possess
    a right to have our matters fairly heard before the courts, free from political interference. No number of insults, derogatory remarks, or attempts at intimidation will sway us from our most fundamental right to the pursuit of justice via the courts.
    Take note that in light of your discriminatory, disparaging, and potentially career-damaging public pronouncements, we are presently exploring the legal options available to us. – Neil Cave, head claimant of the constitutional claim and former captain, and the not “rotten”, but “righteous” Barbadian pilots.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Barbadian pilots should not have to fight this alone
    Where is the voice of the barbadian govt lead by Mottley
    A voice which had plenty to say with the Clico debacle
    This issue has impacted the pilot lives
    Barbados govt cannot and should not sit this one out in silence
    These pilots have been attacked by a regional govt for speaking up for what is rightfully theres
    Barbados govt cannot in all reasonableness remain silent

    Like

  • How about Browne not ridiculing Bajan pilots the way he has been doing. Are you a Bajan? Where is your loyalty to the flag. Anything that helps you to fashion an argument that is anti Mottley you are present. It is the stuff that defines being blindly partisan.

    Here is what we know- you are an ardent supporter of the #throwashadecrew

    Like

  • angela cox March 26, 2021 5:35 AM #: “Barbados govt cannot and should not sit this one out in silence. These pilots have been attacked by a regional govt for speaking up for what is rightfully theres. Barbados govt cannot in all reasonableness remain silent.”

    Do you believe because Gaston Browne made some very derogatory comments about the pilots , it would be wise for the Barbados ‘government’ to become involved in a ‘jousting match’ with him over a matter that is before the Court?

    Like

  • If it looks like a clown and talks like a clown, then it must be a clown.

    Gaston Browne is obviously a clown. Heck, it even rhymes!

    Who in his right mind would say such a thing???? How does that help Caricom territories to move forward together???? How does it resolve this particular problemH????

    Let him continue to open his mouth and prove himself to be a foul fool! Sooner or later not even his own countrymen and women will not take him seriously.

    Like

  • The fact being that the barbados govt although cannot speak on the matter before the court in all readonableness can take the moral road by way of defending the pilots against the attacks levelled against the pilots
    Nothing wrong with govt expressing their views in words that sends a message which disputes Gastons words of attacks on the pilots
    Govt cannot and should not allow its people to be used as punching bags
    Browne knows the case is before the court but nothing has stopped him from levelling attacks on the pilots
    Btw read Barbados today editorial it gives an insight on govt silence on brownes attack and why govt should defend the pilots against the attacks

    Like

  • The AG spoke on this matter in parliament this week. Did you listen?

    Like

  • I read some of the AG response slow in coming as it was
    However Mia still must speak on the verbal treatment meted out to the pilots by Browne
    As she all say ” we are all in this together”
    On this issue her voice must also make a difference on how others see us
    We can no longer allow other voices project whatever negative mirror image of their perception of bajans
    Silence means giving consent for outsiders to treat bajans as they seem fit

    Like

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

    Like

  • 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?

    Like

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