Close to 30 Barbadian workers of regional airline LIAT 1974 Ltd have received notice that they will be officially terminated on November 28th and their posts will be made redundant.
The correspondence came from the court-appointed administrator Cleveland Seaforth on October 28th, following temporary layoffs, earlier this year due to the COVID-19 virus.
The letter went on to state that they were previously advised that by Order of the Honourable Mr. Justice Damian Kelsick made on the 24th day of July 2020, that he Seaforth was appointed as Administrator of LIAT (1974) Limited.
“We refer to the current force majeure COVID-19 Pandemic since March 2020 which has caused a major downturn in the economy and has had a detrimental impact on LIAT (1974) Ltd.’s business. Indeed, prior to my appointment, it compelled LIAT (1974) Ltd. to place a large number of employees on temporary layoff since the business has not been actively engaged in routine commercial flying except for repatriation flights,” he said.
The letter further stated that As LIAT (1974) Ltd has been forced to shut down its regional operations for an indefinite period in response to this pandemic, they have no choice but to further reduce staffing levels.
He added: “Given these factors, we have unfortunately been left with no alternative than the present action since the work which you were employed to perform has ceased or has substantially diminished”
The company says it recognizes and will try to honour entitlements of Severance, Vacation Pay, Retroactive Pay, Any Outstanding Salaries, and all applicable entitlements will be advised to your respective bargaining agent for discussion, resolution, and finalization prior to you being notified of amounts due to you.
Due to the Company’s current state of insolvency, these payments cannot be made now but depend on the outcome of the Court supervised, restructuring process.
However, the outstanding balances due to the 20 plus staffers from the Company’s Pension Escrow Account will be paid by the Administrator as soon as individual pension statements have been received from the Eckler Partners, a process which is expected to be completed shortly.
A source told Starcom Network News that they paid National Insurance and have gone through the full process to secure their unemployment, severance, and other benefits.