Unions and LIAT agree on closure of offices
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The regional airline, LIAT, and several Caribbean trade unions have reached an agreement regarding the closure of the airline’s ticketing offices.
Secretary Treasurer of the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU) in Dominica, Kertist Augustus said the agreement had been finalised yesterday and that the company has agreed to pay severance packages to the affected employees when the offices close down on July 31.
“They have accepted the voluntary separation offer that was made by the workers and accepted by them towards the resolution of the closure of the city offices.
“In their letter to us although they did not indicate the exact time that they were going to close the office the proposal is such that they will pay in lieu of notice and that will affect Dominica employees from the basis of two months pay,” Augustus said.
He said the computation of the package itself will be on the basis of one month pay for each year of service.
Augustus said the relevant notice of closure has already been sent to the affected employees and as a result, prospective travellers will have to book their tickets over the telephone, online, or via a travel agent.
In April, LIAT announced that the decision to close its City Ticketing Offices (CTOs) was taken because of the need to cut costs; to adapt the company’s business model to a changing economic and technological environment; and, in particular, to promote the use of web-based and telephone bookings.As a result of the agreement, more than 30 employees throughout the region will be made redundant.
LIAT’s management had also indicated that the majority of the airline’s destinations had no ticketing offices, and as such, the planned closure was “unlikely to be dramatic to LIAT’s customers”. (CMC)