Statement from LIAT on industrial action by Grenada employees

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, July 31, 2011 – Intensive efforts are on-going between the management of LIAT and the Minister of Labour in Grenada, The Hon. Glynis Roberts, in a bid to bring normalcy back to the carrier’s operations at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).

LIAT’s employees in Grenada, who are represented by the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), have been on go slow since Monday, July 25. The dispute surrounds a claim by the union that the Company owes the workers EC$6 million in overtime payments dating back to 1983.

On Saturday, LIAT’s management met with Minister Roberts, who has been asked to mediate in the dispute between LIAT and the union. It was the third meeting in as many days between the parties.

Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown explained that LIAT maintains a standard collective bargaining agreement of an eight-hour working day, exclusive of any meal break, throughout its network but the union’s claim was based on an eight-hour work day inclusive of a one-hour meal break.

He noted that both sides had proposed various measures for resolving the dispute and that LIAT was seeking ways to respond to the minister’s initiatives.

Mr. Brown pointed out that TAWU’s claim for EC$6 million, going back to 28 years, would clearly impose strains on the Company’s finances at this time.

He indicated that figures from the 2010 Grenada Carnival indicated that LIAT moved the largest number of passengers into and out of the country and it was LIAT’s hope that full services could be resumed virtually immediately.

LIAT has already committed to adding a morning service out of Barbados and it was hoped that this could be expanded based on the level of employee cooperation on the Ground in Grenada.

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