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Former LIAT employees told ‘take it or leave it’ over severance pay

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Former LIAT employees told ‘take it or leave it’ over severance pay

Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Gaston Browne has told former employees of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, that they have a choice to either accept or reject the compassionate settlement his administration has offered to them, saying he sees no reasons for further talks on the matter.

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“We do not need to meet with them to determine the amount of the compassionate payment. This is not a matter for negotiation. They have one of two choices; accept or reject the offer. At the end of the day the government of Antigua and Barbuda has no legal liability to the staff of LIAT,” Browne said while speaking with the local Observer Radio station.

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“Pushing our government to pay EC$60 million in cash is beyond the means of our government. It is therefore an exercise in futility,” he said.

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LIAT is owned by Antigua, Dominica and St Vincent & the Grenadines, but at one time was held by 11 government shareholders. The failed airline is being restructured by Antigua, with a view to its takeover and relaunch. Last year, Browne said that there was an agreement for Barbados and St Vincent to turn over their shares in LIAT to Antigua for EC$1.

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Earlier, Patterson Thompson, the president of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association, LIAPA, had called for a meeting with the government to clarify what he said were concerns relating to the various offers that have been placed on the table regarding severance pay.

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