LIAT and unions to meet
CASTRIES, St. Lucia – Unions representing workers at the regional airline, LIAT, will meet with management of the airline tomorrow amid concerns that the airline could be faced with industrial action.
The two sides met last Friday to discuss the ongoing restructuring plans of the company, but the unions complained that termination letters had been sent to workers “while the discussions were still ongoing”.
The Grievance Officer with the National Workers Union (NWU) Lawrence Poyotte, who attended the last meeting, said “the unions remain very annoyed at the fact that LIAT issued letters of termination to employees”.
He said the unions were also annoyed at the fact that voluntary separation packages have been circulated to the workers without proper consultation with the unions.
“We have been having ongoing discussions to address a number of issues pertaining to voluntary separation package and since these discussions are ongoing the unions felt that it was improper to proceed when talks had not been concluded.”
He said the unions have given the airline an ultimatum to withdraw the letters or face the possibility of industrial action.
On Monday, the airline said it is confident that the regional trade unions would work with it to effect the closure of City Ticketing Offices (CTOs) by the end of June.
LIAT’s Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown said that the decision to close the CTOs formed part of the company’s strategy for reducing its operating costs. Similar CTO closures have been completed by other airlines to reduce their operating costs.
More than 70 employees throughout the region have been made redundant as a result of the decision. (CMC)