Antigua PM willing to discuss outstanding payments to former LIAT workers, rejects union’s demand for 100% severance pay

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is willing to discuss outstanding payments to former LIAT 1974 Ltd employees, but he rejects the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union’s demand for 100 per cent severance pay.

The government has offered a 32 per cent compassionate payment, urging the union to engage in negotiations, as this offer is not indefinite. Browne emphasizes that the ABWU must accept this offer, indicating that the matter is in their hands.

Browne has also announced progress on LIAT 2020, a new airline to enhance Caribbean air travel.

Shareholder governments approved the sale of three leased aircraft for US$12.1 million, with US$4.1 million already in escrow and financing secured for the rest.

Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, will contribute US$60 million and become the largest shareholder, operating the new airline.

Browne has defended Air Peace’s capabilities while highlighting its recent route to JFK Airport in New York, confirming its status as Africa’s largest airline.

He reaffirms the government’s decision to close LIAT (1974) Ltd during the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to “right-size LIAT.”

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