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LIAT workers still off the job

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

LIAT workers still off the job

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Ground staff at the regional airline, LIAT, remained off their jobs for the second consecutive day with their union accusing the airline of failing to reach a new wage agreement to replace the existing one which expires tomorrow.
“The union has been very tolerable to the company, we have exercised every patience and we understand the economic problems the company is having. And we think that where we are the latest position from the union should have been able to take us over the hurdle,” said David Massiah, the general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU).
The ABWU said it has offered to take all monetary allowance items off the negotiating table and is seeking a three per cent increase in the second and third year of the new agreement.
But he said the airline has turned down the offer, proposing instead a two per cent wage hike over the period.
“The company is saying that they cannot agree to our position and what made the situation even more insensitive is that when we are talking the company issued a memo to the staff in Antigua that they will not be able to meet salaries for June.
“We felt from a union standpoint that the company should have known that there were some challenges and could have issued a memo a bit earlier,” Massiah said.
Today, LIAT said it was committed to the maintenance of good industrial relations with all its unions and has already commenced a new round of negotiations for new contract agreements.
The company said the workers had taken the industrial action without giving any notice. (CMC)