ST.JOHN’S, Antigua And Barbuda, June 8, 2017 (CMC) – The government of Antigua and Barbuda has called on pilots with the regional carrier LIAT, to return to work and continue negotiations with the airline’s management.
The call was made in a statement, today, as LIAT pilots continue their protest action for the second consecutive day.
The pilots and LIAT management are in dispute over money and the timeframe in which payments are to be made.
According to the Gaston Browne-led administration, the pilots have been offered a reasonable payment schedule.
“Instead of exercising restraint and responsibility, the pilots have rejected the offer in an attempt to squeeze the cash-strapped airline to pay them immediately.”
The statement added, that given the challenges of the airline and the fact that the carrier is dependent on the four owner countries to survive, the expectation of the pilots is unreasonable.
“These four states are incapable of making large payments to LIAT at this time, given the fiscal challenges which they face. It is unreasonable for the pilots to expect the governments to subsidise the excesses of their unreasonable strike action.”
The government also urged the pilots to exercise restraint, noting that failure to do so will destroy the airline and “their own employment options”.
“Such an outcome would serve only to harm the Caribbean people, and to undermine the probabilities of attracting more governments to share the burdens of providing for our own air links.”
On Wednesday, over 1000 passengers across the region were affected by the protest action, as several flights were either cancelled or delayed.