|Letter: The not so secret LIAT incident|
|Published on January 16, 2014||
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The LIAT incident that happened November 2, 2013, an affair that has eventually resulted in the airline receiving a penalty from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, amount and reason undisclosed in fear of public backlash.
Two pilots were suspended by LIAT following the grounding of an aircraft for technical repairs.
Saturday, November 2, Captain Cave, who was scheduled to fly a LIAT aircraft, was not satisfied that the appropriate test procedure was used before bringing the aircraft back into passenger operation. Captain Cave also reported discrepancies with the official paperwork. Because of his refusal to fly the plane LIAT suspended him, disregarding his protests about safety.
Monday, November 4, Cave had brought the matter to Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association [LIALPA] and Captain Burke, the LIALPA president, while acting in his capacity as union representative, tried to intervene on Cave’s behalf with director of flight operations Captain George Arthurton at a meeting on this day, Captain Burke was then also placed on suspension.
The suspending of the two pilots, Captain Cave and Captain Burke, brought about a general industrial dispute by all the LIAT pilots and crews. Absolute turmoil followed with flights cancelled and passengers stranded.
Wednesday, November 6, management then had a pilots meeting during that day. A meeting took place with [Acting] CEO Ms Julie Reifer-Jones [Vincentian], to discuss what had led to the affair. Management withdrew the suspensions of the two pilots.
November 6, 2013, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the time has come to make the regional airline, LIAT, an essential service as the airline deals with a strike by its pilots that have led to several cancellations and flight delays. Skerrit was just reiterating what the other pair of LIAT shareholders had previously said in June 2013, when Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said in a statement by then LIAT’s chief executive officer, Ian Brunton, that the aviation industry should be classified as an essential service, with legislated restricted rights to strike.
November 7, 2013, PM Gonsalves said he was still of the opinion that LIAT should be declared an essential service, having said the same in June 2013, adding that the shareholder governments had already agreed to go that route. He said he raised the matter at the CARICOM level and member states now have to decide on whether to accept his proposals.
What we should all keep in mind as the travelling public is the fact that a pilot has to have the responsibility in the care and safety of his passengers and the aircraft, in that order. LIAT management disallowed the pilots their constitutional right to oppose company orders on the ground of safety, victimization followed coming from that refusal, and all other forms of suppression that followed must become a disgraceful act by LIAT‘s management. Perhaps its time for them all to go, from bottom to top. As a Vincentian, I would like to know who is the Vincentian acting CEO Julie Reifer-Jones, who appointed her and who is she related to?
If you remember, when asked to invest in LIAT, Kenny Anthony and Keith Mitchell demanded better management in LIAT before pumping their taxpayers’ hard earned money into a company so terribly run.
Those brave pilots had no other option but to exercise their legal right and withdraw or disrupt their labour. As passengers we should be thankful for the way they acted on our behalf.
How can a bunch of left wing twerps make such stupid statements, very Marxist at that? If we took notice of them, can you imagine, pilots would be expected to fly aircraft with one wing missing or no wheels. The pilots must be fully in control of making decisions on the travelling public’s behalf if an aircraft should fly or not.
I do not believe these controlling prime ministers are very prime, they are not very prom prom, what on earth do they know about running an airline, and from what I can see even running their own respective countries. Between crap management and crap directors what chance has LIAT got? Well, what chance have they got? They were all mugs enough to go along with buying a fleet of new aircraft on the advice of Brunton; aircraft that much of the time will be unable to fly because of wind conditions. As for flying to the new airport being built in St Vincent, because of wind conditions there, perhaps less than half the time will they be able to land and take off.
The amount of times I have had to advise our collection of Caribbean oldies not to engage their mouths until their brains are in gear. Their very silly comments about LIAT being classified as an essential service has come back to bite them in the bum.
To cap it all and prove the pilots were right and the management and all the socialist political know all, know nothing pratts, they were all in the wrong. LIAT, has received a penalty from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) in connection with this incident that occurred on November 2, 2013.
Now boys, pay up and look big, the cats out of the bag, in fact put your hands in your pockets and pay it yourselves, for being such silly boys.
here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!
LIAT is one unholy mess. From the top down, 2 inches.
The translation for "essential service" is: "since you cannot raise the bridge, they you have to lower the river."
REMEMBER the WEST INDIAN journalist recently interviewed the RED WOLF OF THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN in GRENADA, wherein he THE COPYCAT COMMUNIST ignorantly insisted that there are some types of "businesses" which are NOT SET UP or NOT INTENDED to break-even or MAKE A PROFIT .
And, he IGNORANTLY insisted on this, AS ANY DRUNKEN MAN would supposedly argue. I ain' saying that he WAS DRUNK, then, please note, and I know that he doan smoke. So, we will have to look for the possible explanation elsewhere.
I frankly believe that that DOCTRINAIRE COMMUNIST IDEOLOGUE is hopelessly brainwashed with Marxist-Leninist RELIGION - - - NO ABILITY TO REASON on matters of BUSINESS.
Ralphie boy is BUSINESS-Challenged.
Though I hear tell that he is lately a noveau-rich CAPITALIST 'entrepreneur' in SVG.
Imagine, SVG going down the economic-financial toilet, but the CORRUPT REGIME's ELITE are getting along very well financially, thank you.
I ain' saying that anything untoward is involved in these cases. But, it makes one think ...
Have you noticed that once the POLITICIANS interfere with or 'take over the organization and control of' ANY of OUR INDUSTRIES --- that DECLINE, DIMINUTION, AND DESTRUCTIVE DECLINE eventually, SOONER OR LATER, TAKES OVER ?
Check COTTON. Remember the politically insighted burning down of the COTTON GINERY AT FRENCHES ?
REMEMBER THE POLITICAL PARTY ATTEMPTS TO TAKE PUNITIVE ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES AGAINST COPRA, COCONUTS, AND the COCONUT OIL INDUSTRY ?
Remember WHEN the POLITICIANS decided that they were going to ORGANIZE THE ARROWROOT INDUSTRY, 'properly', in SVG ? Our GLOBALLY AND HISTORICALLY UNIQUE contribution to this WORLD ECONOMY.
See the MEDDLING POLITICIANS running to Par-lia[r]-ment with their AIA [ARROWROOT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION BILL] ?
YOU tell me: Where IS the ARROWROOT industry, TODAY ?
INCOMPETENT POLITICIANS. CORRUPT. MEDDLING. GREEDY.
Just over 25 planters in Park Hill got together and initiated THE BANANA INDUSTRY. Tell me what the CURRENT FINANCE MINISTER [AND MINISTER OF ABOUT SIX OTHER MINISTRIES, besides those controlled by his UNELECTED Portuguese COUSIN and politically pampered SON, daddy's boy] did that resulted in THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF THE BANANA INDUSTRY, our MAJOR AGRICULTURAL CROP AND our MAIN FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER ?
LIAT WAS "The CARIBBEAN Airline"!
Thanks to our INEPT POLITICIANS.
TAKE THE POLITICIANS out of LIAT. That is the SOLUTION, not merely a "tentative" one.
The MORE POLITICAL INTERFERENCE, the LESS would be the CHANCES for SOLVENCY, BREAK-EVEN POINT, AND PROFITABILITY.
In the current milieu or conundrum, WHENEVER LIAT makes a decent profit [UNLIKELY, UNINTENDED, AND UNNECESSARY according to the sub-region's FOOLISH communist exponent] - - - then the corrupt politicians WILL SEEK TO DIP THEIR GREEDY POLITICAL HANDS IN THE KITTY - - - as YET ANOTHER DISGUISED FORM OF GOVERNMENT TAXATION.
BUT, in the meantime, the CLUELESS political chairman of the board would rather the pols USE IT as a means of providing political benefits to the politically 'favoured' - - - jobs, perks, the like. That is, LIAT IS NOT INTENDED TO MAKE A PROFIT.
THE Communist brain-dead says that LIAT IS AND SHOULD BE RUN AS A 'SERVICE'.
LIAT died a long time ago, with the increased advent of politicians. ONLY our citizens didn't yet REALIZE IT.
LIAT is NO LONGER "THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINE."
LIAT, instead, is now and in future A MONUMENT TO THE INEPTITUDE AND INCOMPETENCE OF POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN THESE CARICOM COUNTRIES.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
I see so many of you are bashing the Governments who are trying to act responsible on the behalf of us, the customers. Making LIAT an "essential Service provider" does not remove the rights of the pilot to refuse to fly because of safety. But it does remove the ability of the pilots to go on strike as it seems monthly for any reason stranding passengers all over the Caribbean with out consequences. Untill you are one of those passengers stranded for over four days and can't get back to your home and work, say no more I had first hand experience fo being stranded by LIAT twice! And by the way to all of you "communist" line is over worked! You all sound like people who can't bring about change in your government, so you sit back and cry like babies and the first word you learn as a baby? Communist.
Dear LORENZO, I am sorry that you are so obviously suffering from congenital inanity.
I can assure you the LIAT pilots have never ever gone on strike for any frivolous reason whatsoever. The problem has always been management related and employment of incompetent management who are unable or unwilling to deal with disputes properly and professionally that are in the main generated by them.
The last strike was caused by top management suspending a pilot for refusing to take an aircraft into service when to do so would of broken both their agreement with LIAT and rules of the Caribbean air authorities. Before any union action was taken the suspended pilot with the airline chief pilot who is also the union negotiator tried to settle the dispute at a top meeting with the top management of LIAT. Instead of coming to an amicable settlement the union negotiator was also suspended at the meeting.
What it boils down to, if the pilot had broken all the rules and taken an aircraft into service against his own recommendations and knowledge of correct procedure, he could of been dismissed for such. The management ignored all rules and agreements and tried to bully and insist the aircraft was put into service. Hence they caused the industrial action that ensued.
Do you honestly think that LIAT would of been charged a penalty of an undisclosed sum by Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority unless they were in the wrong.
As for your comments about political comment, that leads me to believe that you are more than likely a paid collaborator and write your comments on the instructions of others.
I probably have flown LIAT more than you and most travellers, other than aircraft crew. I know that the service I have received has sometimes been very good, acceptable or down right third rate rubbish.
It really is time for LIAT to be broken up and routes be opened up to competition. Its only with competition that you can achieve excellence.
Lorenzo DeCaul, I think I know someone by this name. "Nuff respect.
Tell me: IS there any possibility that the 'LIAT' pilots CAN go PERMANENTLY ON STRIKE against LIAT - - - utterly leaving their employ, and thus further debilitating the experience pool of that airline's pilots ?
Or, would "essential services" status BAN 'DEM FRAM THAT, too ???
COMMUNIST-loving Bro. DeCaul, please tell we: Would the designation of 'essential services' PREVENT AND INHIBIT the LIAT PILOTS from making objective decisions as to air-worthiness and SAFETY CONCERNS, even to the crucial extent of advising against particular flights or aircraft - - and refusing to endanger themselves, flight crew and long-suffering LIAT passengers ?
'Over-worked', Comrade Lorenzo??
WOULD you tell me:
WHAT is the CURRENT NAME of the 'POLITICAL PARTY' that PRESENTY 'RUNS' the country WHERE Ralphie, the SVG National Bird, is AGAIN 'VISITING' for the UMPTEENTH time - - - you know -- - the one where his COMMUNIST BUDDIES, the Castro DESPOTS are
veritable LIFE AND DEATH 'kings' in the RACIST SLAVE-STATE 'cuba'???
IS it "COMMUNIST" ?
Is the name, now, "COMMUNIST" ???
CAN YOU, Lorenzo, tell us is the reputed ruling body is:
The Central Committee of THE COMMUNIST PARTY of cuba ???
IF, in case yuh ain' know, me Bro., PLEASE ASK YUH POLITICAL IDOL, ralphie the commie.
He SHOULD know.
After all, he an' dem are COMMUNIST friends.
The self-same "Communist BIRDS OF A FEATHER" that Cousin Robert Milton CATO and Hudson Kemuel TANNIS used to FIRMLY WARN US ABOUT .... how they go "FLOCK TOGETHER", communistically that is.
In fact EVEN political turn-coat VINCENT IAN BEACHE used to STRIDENTLY WARN US ABOUT THE SAME, self-same, Gunzy COMMUNISTS AND MASS-MURDERING COMMUNISM.
So, too, did ARTHUR F. WILLIAMS, ST.CLAIR DACON, WADE WILLIAMS, JOHN G. THOMPSON, GRAAFTON CEPHAS ISAACS, HUDSON SOSO, LEVI LATHAM and RANDOLPH RUSSELL.
THEY prophetically WARNED US AGAINST ALLOWING 'youlimo' and RALPH GONSALVES bringing COMMUNISM into St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
NOW that these ST.VINCENT LABOUR PARTY greats have proven to be CORRECT AND VISIONARY in the infiltration of COMMUNISM into SVG - - - YOU want we to keep quiet ???
You say "over-worked' ?!
You really mean THAT communist ralphie wukking OVER-TIME in COMMUNIZING ST.VINCENT ??
Could a fellow be that politically BLIND, DEAF, and DUMB ?
OR, 'FRAID ??????????
WHY are there MILITARILY TRAINED COMMUNIST CUBANS IN SVG ?
WHY ARE THERE COMMUNIST CUBAN PARAMILITARIES IN SVG?
Did we send back the CUBAN COMMUNIST 'DGI' secret police TO CUBA ? Or, are they still "watching" the COMMUNIST Cuban 'medical' workers and "keeping them in line" from ANY POSSIBILITY OF DEFECTING to friendly WESTERN COUNTRIES - - - again ?
HOW are the "wage differences" being dealt with ? How, WHAT, do we PAY CUBAN COMMUNISTS, as contrasted with LEGALLY MANDATED WAGES AND MINIMUM WAGES IN SVG ? Does SVG pay any 'difference' to the COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT OF CUBA ?
WHY in our hard-guava crop economy in SVG are we EMPLOYING AND PAYING CUBAN COMMUNISTS to do work in SVG, when so many native Vincentians are UNEMPLOYED AND 'scrunting' - - - and begging our daily bread
WHAT CONSCIENCE can the CUBAN COMMUNISTS HAVE and this 'COMMUNISTIC' gonsalvez ULP administration have, WHEN, IN THIS DIRE, TRAGIC, SVG NATIONAL EMERGENCY and tragedies, WE CONTINUE DO HAVE THESE COMMUNIST 'me falta' CUBANS leeching on we, SUCKING THE VERY ECONOMIC LIFE-BLOOD of SVG, taking away jobs from suffering, grieving Vincentian citizens - - - and so far refusing to GO HOME.
CUBANS, Go home !
Get the hell out of SVG !
Vamoose, you Communist ideo-LEECHES.
Cubans, GO home !!!
Cuban COMMUNISTS, get the hell outa ST. VINCENT !
Go BEG Venezuela - - - OR, go BEG THE BACK-WARD RUSSIANS, once again.
COMMUNIST Cubans, GO !