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Union Wants CAL Workers to be Given Land


(Trinidad Guardian) The Aviation Communication and Allied Workers Union (ACAWU) says if Caribbean Airlines (CAL) intends to retrench 450 of its staff, their retrenchment packages should include residential and agricultural lots.

The union’s general secretary, Peter Farmer said the same benefits given to former workers of state-owned Petrotrin and Caroni 1975 Limited, should be afforded to CAL staff.

The union met virtually with its membership on Thursday and Farmer said the workers believe the retrenchment exercise is ill-advised at this time.

“That considering that by 2023 CAL would return to pre-COVID-19 level earnings from passenger and cargo traffic, the $110 million plus, planned for the payment of retrenchment would be wasteful spending,” the release stated.

On Monday, the airline announced it would be restructuring its operations after a $172 million loss in the first quarter of 2021. That restructuring includes the retrenchment of 25 per cent or approximately 450 of its staff. The company has already indicated it intends to retrench between 95 to 115 pilots during this exercise. CAL will also cut routes and its fleet as the airline said forecasters anticipate a grim outlook for the industry until 2023.

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