Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LIAT Responds to Captain Blackburn’s No Payment Claims

Antigua St. John’s – Regional airline LIAT is resisting suggestions that it has failed to act appropriately. The airline stated that it has always been ready and willing to settle all outstanding payments with former employee Captain Michael Blackburn who was terminated last year. 

In a press statement issued yesterday, LIAT’s Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown sought to clear the airline’s name a day after Captain Blackburn accused the company of failing to award him his terminal payments more than six months following his December 5, 2011 sacking.

While not denying that its account with the former pilot and head of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) has not been settled, the statement indicated that Blackburn was the one responsible for the impasse.

“Captain Blackburn was terminated on 5th December 2011,” Brown said. "Immediately upon his termination he was offered all terminal payments, including outstanding leave. On that day Captain Blackburn was informed that he should return all company property and collect his payments."

“In January 2012 Captain Blackburn had not yet collected his payments and a reminder was sent by registered post to him. Thereafter even though his cheques were still to be collected Captain Blackburn wrote to the company indicating his calculation of his terminal payments. The company duly replied and clearly set out the calculation of his terminal pay and again offered it to him.

To date there has been no response to the company's letter,” Brown’s statement said.

The Corporate Communications Manager said the matter was then referred to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Commissioner who heard both parties on 15th June 2012.

“The matter was then adjourned for the submission of further documents but representatives of Captain Blackburn subsequently indicated that a proposal would be sent to the company. Again no proposal has been received to date,” Brown said.


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