By Shermain Bique-Charles
Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua Observer) – Ex-LIAT workers could be in for a shock when they learn that the contentious issue of outstanding severance and other payments owed to them is not among the priority discussions on the table for shareholder governments when they meet on Tuesday.
Observer has been reliably informed that the crucial meeting will be held primarily to discuss the future of the airline, and to agree on a renewed or rebooted regional carrier.
This week, President of the pilots’ union LIALPA, Patterson Thompson, told Observer that he was hoping that a collaborative but satisfactory decision would be made on Tuesday regarding all monies owed to former LIAT employees.
“This is what we have been asking for, for a long period of time, that there would be a collective approach, certainly by the four shareholders, and then those other governments who have determined that a regional carrier is extremely important,” he said.
But with talks on compensation and payment off the agenda, Thompson’s hopes look set to be dashed.
“We are taking too long to get to this point…being out of work for the past two years and not getting any kind of salary has been a tremendous financial strain. I am hoping that there would be a collaborative approach…fingers crossed,” he previously said.
The Antigua and Barbuda government announced late last year that it had provided EC$2 million as a “compassionate payment” to partially satisfy the millions owed to former local employees of the regional airline.