A former senior LIAT pilot, Neil Cave, is taking issue with Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s “compassionate” offer to dismissed airline workers as another Christmas season approaches.
Months ago, Browne offered a combination of land, scholarships and a percentage of monies owed to the former LIAT employees as a severance package.
Cave, who has been spearheading the fight on behalf of these workers, is critical of Browne and his proposal. In an interview with Barbados TODAY, he says Browne’s offer “is anything but compassionate.”
Cave says that Browne continues to talk, but is yet to offer the un-severed workers even so much as a “bottle of water,” which he says is cruel.
The former pilot compared the action of the Government of Barbados to other shareholder countries.
“He argued that at least the Barbados Government has demonstrated mercy by providing a temporary loan of $2,000 per month for not only the Barbadian LIAT workers here, but all other regional nationalities based in Bridgetown,” Barbados TODAY reports.
Cave says this sum would allow the affected former employees to purchase basic food supplies, electricity, and pay part of a rent bill.
“So Prime Minister Browne has been spitting this rhetoric about a 50 per cent compassionate offer; this, that and the next; when in fact no such thing exists,” Cave told the media entity.
Cave says that Browne has been advocating this since the latter part of 2020 and, to date, the unions cannot get the offer in writing.
He says what Browne is putting on offer equates to less than 10 or 15 per cent of what some people are actually owed in cash. Cave also says that the offer of lands and bonds lacks specificity.
Prime Minister Browne, meanwhile, has criticized the unions and called on them to rethink their position and accept his offer.
He accused union leaders of making “unreasonable demands” for which they have no legal basis, and noted what is needed is their cooperation.