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LIAT workers in Grenada demand payment

sherieholder, [email protected]

LIAT workers in Grenada demand payment

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ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Sept 6, CMC – The Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU) has written to the Antigua-based regional airline, LIAT, demanding that it pays one million dollars (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) by the end of this month as part of the outstanding five million dollars in arrears to workers here.
The union said that the arrears are owed for overtime and meal allowances dating back to 1983 and last month, LIAT workers downed tools in protest over the non-payment of the outstanding wages, forcing the airline to re-schedule or cancel many of its daily flights.
TAWU president Chester Humphrey said despite efforts to reach a settlement on the issue, nothing has materialised and the letter to the airline is the latest proposal to bring about an amicable solution.
He said the request for the one million dollar payment had been done on the basis that the “company would have paid off in three instalments beginning of August 2011, half a million dollars, comprising EC$410,000 payable by LIAT and the government of Grenada…proposed 90,000 dollars.
“That figure has now reached 900,000 dollars and the workers have made a more forthright demand and that is LIAT ought to pay a million dollars by the end of September…and the payment plan as to how it will service the rest,” Humphrey said.
The workers have been on a work to rule for the past three weeks and Humphrey said that since Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer made a recommendation to end the previous work stoppage “nothing has been done.
Spencer had suggested an offer of EC$ 800,000 in December last year following industrial action by LIAT workers that threatened the island’s carnival
“So that is where the situation is,” Humphrey said, adding “we say this matter is very urgent..and so we anticipate the company will respond to us within a  week”.
In August, the airline, whose major shareholders are the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said it was not willing to make any other offer than what has been outlined by Prime Minister Spencer.