Former LIAT workers in Barbados have used a letter to urge the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica to follow the lead of their St Lucian counterpart whom last month paid severance in the form of bond certificates to 47 citizens of that country who were among the hundreds of LIAT workers made redundant in 2020.
In December 2022, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre awarded all former workers from St Lucia 100 percent of the value of their severance owed to them by LIAT 1974 LTD although Castries is a non-shareholder of LIAT 1974 LTD.
“Yet, the four other governments of Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are major shareholders of LIAT cannot find it in their hearts to end the suffering of the remaining staff members. We will not be silent about this issue! We will not stop speaking out about this injustice. We are still suffering and need to have this issue rectified immediately,” the staff wrote in a letter.
“Pay us what we are owed if there is an ounce of decency left,” they said.
The staff also spoke about a decision by the government of Antigua and Barbuda to offer a 50% severance payment to former workers.
The group also blasted the Mia Mottley administration for failing to pay the severance the airline has owed them for more than two years, saying that not even a petition they started nine months ago to raise awareness of their plight has resonated with the Barbados Government.
LIAT has been under a court-appointed administrator since the airline took a nose dive during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is now set for liquidation.
Its former workers are said to be owed around EC$120 million in severance and other payments.
Last December, the government of Antigua and Barbuda disbursed EC$2 million as a “compassionate payment” to local former employees. However, EC$1.6 million of that remains unclaimed.