• Today
    September 22

  • 08:41 PM

LIAT, pilots still at odds

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 25 June 2010

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT management has accused the union representing its pilots of being less than truthful, as both sides continue to throw jabs  following a crippling two-day sick out by the pilots last week.The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) said it was concerned about the deafening silence by management of the Antigua-based airline to deal with outstanding matters that led to the work stoppage.LIALPA said that despite “all of the recent utterances and public pronouncements” by the airline’s management, there had been no effort to contact the leadership of the pilots association since the June 16 to 17 action that led to the cancellations of 244 flights and the disruption of travel plans of more than 6 500 passengers.“This confirms the position we have taken all along: The high-handed, unilateral and non-communicative approach of LIAT’s management to reach amicable solutions is unlikely to yield any sustainable success for the airline,” the pilots’ association said in a statement earlier this week.But LIAT management countered late Wednesday, saying acting chief executive officer Brian Challenger requested by email, a meeting with LIALPA chairman Michael Blackburn. A copy of the correspondence, which was sent to other LIALPA members, has been obtained by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).“Informal discussions were also held by Mr Challenger with one senior member of the LIALPA executive in an effort to move forward the process of resolution of these issues. The efforts have followed on initiatives, including by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves [of St Vincent and the Grenadines], to convene meetings of the parties to resolve the outstanding areas of concern,” management said in a statement.It also accused the pilots’ association of using a tone that “cannot be expected to contribute to the resolution of the serious issues presently facing LIAT and LIALPA”. (CMC)

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