More job cuts planned for LIAT
LIAT management will meet on Friday with trade unions within its system to discuss the details of planned job cuts.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday October 31, 2011 - A new wave of staff cuts is planned for LIAT as the financially-beleaguered airline moves to reign in cost.
The Antigua-based carrier has scheduled a meeting for Friday with all the unions within its system to discuss the plan.
General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), Senator David Massiah, confirmed the planned staff cuts but would not say how many workers or what areas would be affected.
He did disclose that the airline, which is this year celebrating 55 years of operations, is considering outsourcing some of its operations.
“They are looking at one of two areas within their operations to do some further restructuring,” Senator Massiah said.
“LIAT is looking down the road of outsourcing…we have to advise our members. The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union has already met with the shop stewards and following the Friday 4th meeting, the union will meet with the entire membership.”
LIAT lost EC$21.5 million during the first half of this year and reintroduced a fuel surcharge in August due to the increasing price of fuel.
Earlier this year, workers throughout the company were offered the option of voluntary severance and early retirement.
The airline also closed its City Ticketing Offices across the region to save US$3 million annually.
Senator Massiah said he would request of the Chairman of the Regional Negotiation Committee for unions, Senator Chester Humphrey, that unions meet with LIAT shareholder governments “to put forward our case.”
He insisted that LIAT management should disclose the full details of its restructuring plan to unions rather than the current piecemeal approach.
He said, too, that the management team should be reduced.
“We need to look at the entire company. If you’re restructuring, you can’t just restructure at the bottom, you have to restore the entire organization…,” he noted.
“We have our concerns and our positions that we would like to put forward as well.
“What I would like to continue to call for is early dialogue and not dialogue…because consultation on any matter of separation of people should take place well in advance to look at other measures because any separation of people should be the last resort for any company,” the union representative added.