AA scraps plan to sever Antigua workers

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday October 31, 2011- Eleventh hour negotiations to save the jobs of 18 American Airlines employees have resulted in the US carrier reversing its earlier decision to sever them effective Monday.

AA communicated that decision on Friday to General Secretary of the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), Senator David Massiah, who had condemned the “unilateral” decision.

The trade unionist said the workers have voted to accept the proposal by the American carrier, which also stipulates that the collective agreement remains unchanged, including salaries.

“The workers felt this is the way to go at this particular stage and they don’t have a problem going forward with this particular matter,” Massiah said.

The US airline informed the ABWU on October 18 that the majority of its workers here would be sent home and replaced by qualified and specialized personnel from Antigua, as it moved to outsource its local operations and cut costs.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Minister of Tourism John Maginley had intervened in the matter at the union’s request.

Massiah said the union and AA will resume negotiations Monday following the latest proposal.

“It is clear that the union and the company will continue discussions on other matters on how we move forward in the future,” the senator stated. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)