LIAT pilots will meet with management today after the withdrawal of two suspension letters issued to president of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) Carl Burke and Barbadian pilot Neil Cave. Following is the full text of a statement issued this morning by LIALPA following the withdrawal:
The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) would like to inform the Caribbean people that due to misguided and ill-informed decisions taken by management, an emergency meeting of the Association took place in Antigua to brief its membership about the repercussions of management’s unfortunate actions and to chart the way forward.
According to our Association’s constitution, this emergency meeting required a specific percentage of pilots at a specific base to be in attendance. Due to numerous crews being out on overnights and others away on training in the United States and France, it was necessary to have all remaining crews in the respective bases attend. The crews were immediately released for duty at the end of the meeting.
As a result of this, all departures from Antigua and Barbados were affected, and many of you suffered disruptions to your travel plans. For this, we sincerely apologize. Please be assured that our decisions to hold the emergency meeting was not taken lightly but we had no other choice due to the serious nature of the impulsive and reckless actions of management. We also had legitimate concerns about LIAT”s flight operations which we communicated to the company via several e-mails and telephone exchanges.
Eventually, good sense prevailed and management withdrew the suspensions of two (2) pilots, one (1) of the pilots being our Association President. He had been suspended on Monday at a meeting with management, while acting in his capacity as a Union Representative to address the issue of the other suspended pilot. Management has also guaranteed the pilots a meeting this morning Wednesday 6th November 2013 with Acting CEO Ms. Julie Reifer-Jones, to discuss the chain of events that led to this impasse. The outcome of this meeting will determine the way forward for both parties.
We continue to pledge to you the traveling public that we are taking a reasonable and responsible position in dealing with these matters. We do this because of our unwavering commitment to you, our unrelenting dedication to your best interests in the long-term, and with the best interests of the airline’s future survival at the forefront.
Once again, we apologize to the general public and any inconveniencies caused by flight disruptions are deeply regretted.