Help Former Liat Employees Receive Their Severance

Help Former Liat Employees Receive Their Severance

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Ali Jack started this petition

 

Caribbean Government's asked to do right by their former airline staff 

Victimised former LIAT (1974) Limited airline employees are disappointed and frustrated with the way that they have been treated over the past two years by the four labour party Caribbean Governments, primarily Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica, all of whom are the major shareholders of LIAT, which has been an essential airline service serving the Caribbean. 

These shareholders whose Prime Ministers are: The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, The Honourable Gaston Browne, and The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit have left approximately 600 former airline workers who would have served the Caribbean region to suffer since 2020 when a decision was made to liquidate the company. The company was operating in a bankrupt state for well over a decade. All four Governments mentioned above are signatories to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention. 

Over the past two years, it has been disastrous for many who are former employees of the LIAT 1974 Ltd. airline who have put blood, sweat, tears, finances, and health on the line to ensure the people of the Caribbean were able to connect freely with their friends, family members as well as, to conduct business activities across the region. 

Let us paint the heartbreaking picture for you of what former staff have been facing over the past two years.

A single mother of two children has not been able to properly clothe and maintain her children despite her best efforts. These children have had to return to face-to-face primary education and function during the Covid-19 Pandemic, despite being hungry and seeing their mother in perpetual despair. The mother is unable to provide adequately for her children, thus rendering her with feelings of helplessness, depression, and hopelessness, through no fault of her own, as her former employer LIAT 1974 Limited, whom she gave over a decade of service to, has failed to provide statutory severance owed upon the termination of her employment agreement in 2020.  

As we continue to demonstrate the irreversible damage caused, we look at a father of two who, since losing his position within the company, has lost his marriage and his wife and children have now left the family home that is on the brink of foreclosure.

Is it fair to the former employees that the wholly-owned, government-financed company that they have toiled in for over a decade has left them at the brink of economic and emotional ruin?  

Many of the former 600 employees have reported that they now suffer from severe depression having been left in a perilous financial state during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are many cases of former employees who are seeking psychological help as they struggle to come to grips with their current reality. 

Do you think that the four shareholder governments are wrong for this situation having decided to close the company and that they SHOULD pay the severance owed to these workers, in accordance with International Labour best practices and morality,  thereby, preventing further catastrophe?  

Imagine that many of these 600 workers have had to rely on the minuscule pensions of their elderly parents and grandparents to be able to meet their basic human needs.  

Here are the facts that surround the reasons why the former LIAT 1974 Limited employees have not received their severance payments:  

1.      The airline was allowed to run as a bankrupt entity supported by the Shareholder Governments for many years.

2.      In a formal letter sent to the former employees of LIAT 1974 Limited on June  29th 2020, the assurance was given by the Chairman of the Shareholder Governments, The Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, that the plight of the staff was recognized and that the matter of money owed would be addressed as a matter of urgency. To date, the staff has received no meaningful follow-up and no settlements have been made to end this egregious situation.

3.      LIAT 1974 Limited shareholder Antigua and Barbuda changed the legislation in Parliament to prevent court action from being taken in any form against their company.  This occurred in July 2020 and the former employees were forced to take legal action in Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua and Barbuda High Court ruled in favour of the former employees and have deemed that the offending sections of the legislation passed by the Government are unconstitutional, thus making them void.  

4.      The major shareholders in LIAT 1974 Limited have taken the position that the company is insolvent and therefore they have Limited Liability, thus, they are under no legal obligation to compensate the workers. Barbados has, however, paid 27 of 94 Barbadian workers who have paid into the National Insurance Scheme in Barbados. St. Lucia has agreed to pay their affected citizens on humanitarian grounds on the 26th April 2022. 

5.      Approximately 573, former employees from throughout the Caribbean region through arrangements in their initial contractual agreements, have been paying into the social security service in Antigua and Barbuda.  These workers have yet to receive correspondence on how they shall be paid the severance and other entitlements owed to them. 

Affected former LIAT 1974 Limited employees have started this petition to humbly request your support in forcing the above Shareholder Governments to do what is morally and legally right so that the former staff of this island-hopping airline would be able to receive the severance and other outstanding entitlements legally owed to them and continue to support their families.  

By signing this petition, you are stating to the Shareholder Governments that you are in support of these 600 former employees who have faithfully served the Caribbean region over more than a decade in their time of need. 

For media relations:

Contact: 

Facebook: Employees' Voice 

Email: employeesvoiceglobal@gmail.com

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!