Caribbean governments called hypocrites over LIAT severance

David Massiah

The General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, David Massiah, lashed out at Caribbean countries, calling them “hypocritical” for their handling of the LIAT severance matter.

The ABWU and other unions in the region have been fighting since 2020 for severance and other payments for former LIAT workers who were given their walking papers at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The major shareholder governments of LIAT are Dominica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

When the head of these governments met recently, they decided collectively to liquidate LIAT 1974 Ltd with no mention of the millions owed to ex-employees.

While some countries, like St Lucia and Barbados, have decided to settle the severance for the workers in their country, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica remain in limbo.

The government offered a 50% compassionate payment offer to former LIAT workers in St Johns but that was rejected because the ABWU said some specific details were unclear.

Massiah, further stated that the shareholder governments are bastardizing the situation with the former workers.

“They should sit together and come up with one plan that governs all the workers throughout LIAT so we can get the regional airline back in the air to serve people”.

“So when St Lucian prime minister said he will pay workers there, he should have come to the prime minister of Antigua and say look guys let’s sit down and talk. Skerrit of Dominica would have indicated months ago that it is a moral obligation by the governments of the region to pay the workers…but none of them has done anything.” Massiah said.

Massiah also accused the government of Grenada of trying to set up another airline,  ergo LIAT, and the severance was abandoned.

“All the leaders of the Caribbean should come together to deal with the issue of LIAT and its workers…They need to get on the phone and call each other…they sit in meetings with other…These as the things that must be addressed. They need to raise funds to ensure we can help our workers and stop playing political football,” Massiah said.

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  1. Time-X
    December 19, 2022

    Had Antigua agreed to the 50% offer, then Dominic would have done the same. Dominica doesn’t have a leader with a brain. Therefore, like school children copying from their classmates; Skeritt does the very same thing because he cannot understand economics. If Antigua fails Dominica must fail. No wonder there isn’t an account of much stolen money from the VOLEH.

  2. Pipo
    December 16, 2022

    The notion of a moral obligation is alien to Roosevelt Skerrit I’m afraid, so one should not expect anything from that quarter, any sentiment of empathy noted by its absence, totally overruled by entitlement. Meanwhile we hear that British Airways is opening a year-round service from London to Aruba, twice weekly via Antigua in March. Are we really the Devil’s hindmost, the forgotten and cursed tribe?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
    • Seasoned Traveler
      December 17, 2022

      …under Skerrit, all you are! The biggest joke all you cannot get rid of him now. He fooled all of you!! All you allowed one man to destroy your beautiful country.

  3. Zandoli
    December 16, 2022

    You are legally entited to the proceeds of the assets of LIAT subject to seniority of creditors. You have no leg to stand on. The government offers you 50 cents on the dollar and you turned it down. Now you are making all kinds of noise about hypocrisy?

    I think you are a hopeless negotiator who does not know how and when to make a deal. Sometimes you have to make the best deal you can given the cards that you hold.

    I have no issue with unions, but very often union leaderships believe they exist in an alternate universe than the rest of us.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

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