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LIAT lay-off plan on hold

Antigua Sun, Thursday 10 February 2000, 11:00am

LIAT workers may breathe a little bit easier when they hear that the company has temporarily shelved a plan to lay off some of its employees, the Caribbean News Agency quoted a senior official of the airline as saying yesterday.

The postponement is until a special shareholders meeting, to be held later this month, makes another attempt at easing the plight of the cash-strapped carrier.

"That (the lay-offs) has been placed on hold, and that is one of the things we are going to be discussing with the shareholders, and the union wants to be involved in respect of it," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CANA.

A consultancy report by the British Airways subsidiary Speedwing has recommended the retrenchment of 200 workers, but the LIAT official was of the view that the number could be lowered, pending the approval of the shareholders.

LIAT was already expected to send home the first 50 workers, mainly from the Accounts and Revenue Department, and contract the services of other companies, but so far no employee has been severed.

The LIAT official, who is close to the board and management, said he was upset that the airline's workers were being sidelined from the decision-making process of the company, even though they had sacrificed salary increases for the past three years.

"If you are calling on them to make those sacrifices, then at the same time you ought to have them involved, at least consultatively, in your decision-making process, so that they can see " there is a light somewhere down the tunnel," the official added.