Barbados’ Minister of International Transport says parties in LIAT saga need to stop shouting game

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is being blamed forputting a legal stumbling block in the way of former LIAT workers, preventing them from receiving all of their outstanding severance.

In a Barbados TODAY article, Barbados is declaring that LIAT is obligated to pay its terminated employees all their outstanding severance and other entitlements.

Speaking on radio on Tuesday, January 18,  Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins, said “that while Barbados remained a shareholder in the Antigua-based regional carrier, proper labour practices dictate that it is the company that must pay severance to the former workers.”

She said “it is unfortunate that the legislation was changed in Antigua,” making it difficult for the employees of LIAT to access their monies.”

This situation reportedly prompted the Mia Mottley Administration to offer Barbados-based LIAT workers a one-off gift of $2,000 and a monthly advance of another $2,000. These sums are to be repaid once a severance settlement is reached.

Cummins said she has met with the former workers, including the pilots, on numerous occasions, and she believes that workers should not be made to suffer while companies sort out their internal affairs.

The minister said the parties’ current shouting at each other must stop, adding that the Barbados government is in the business of sitting down with people and talking through issues, and she wants to see this done with LIAT.

After decades of dedicated service to LIAT,  former employees who are now struggling ought to be treated with respect and paid their due, she said.

The ex-airline workers are owed EC$120 million in entitlements that have been due to them since 2020.

The approximately 500 former employees have been agitating for their monies and are planning industrial action to refocus attention on their plight.