The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) is making
another call for Cleveland Seaforth, the court-appointed
administrator of LIAT (1974) Ltd., to say how the administration of
the airline is progressing.
Seaforth was appointed by a High Court judge over three years ago,
in July 2020, to settle the affairs of the bankrupt airline, whose
former staff members are owed millions of dollars.
Now, the Union’s general-secretary, David Massiah, wants the
administrator to provide the public with an update on the future
direction of the airline.
Massiah made a similar call months ago during a Senate debate.
This time, speaking on radio, he said the Union is troubled by the
silence and continues to call on Prime Minister Gaston Browne to
ensure that Seaforth updates the public on his administration efforts
over the last three years – a period far longer than the initial 120
days he was given.
Massiah says the Union is denouncing “this sort of silence or
dismissal by the Government and the administrator,” and that, to
date, the ABWU has not been “in a position to receive some sort of
understanding as to how things can be moved forward.”
Accordingly, he calls on Seaforth to disclose the situations he is
facing and how far along the process of administration has gone, so
that parties have a better understanding.
The general-secretary notes that the Union supports any
resuscitation of real, viable air transport in the region, but this, he
says, will be achieved only with the assistance and involvement of
the former LIAT workers.
Meanwhile, as the Browne Administration and other regional
governments keep advocating for a new LIAT 2020, Massiah says
“the issue of the former workers is still a very important part that
has to be discussed and finalized.”
The former workers who are resident in Antigua and Barbuda are
being offered a “compassionate” payment that has moved from 50
percent of what they are owed in severance, gratuities and other
benefits to less than 35 percent.