LIALPA calls for transparency and accountability, as LIAT withholds retirement fund information

LIALPA calls for transparency and accountability, as LIAT withholds retirement fund information

(St John’s, Antigua) For over three (3) years, the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA)

has been trying to overcome the stalling and delaying tactics of LIAT’s management in releasing

accounting information with regards to their Retirement Funds.

As recent as last December, the Company refused to respond to proposals from LIALPA’s Attorney.

These proposals are in agreement with the Court’s ruling that the collective agreement between

LIALPA and LIAT is binding and enforceable and emphasizes that the staff provident (retirement) fund

contributions cannot be unilaterally closed and arrears are to be paid and contributions should

continue. The proposals also called for an audit of all staff provident fund deductions not yet paid

out to pilots, in order for any new pension scheme to be started.

LIALPA has received sound legal advice that the company’s unauthorized

deductions/contributions from pilots’ salaries other than towards the contracted staff

provident (retirement) fund, is a breach of Labour Laws (specifically Sections C34(1), C30

and 33) and constitutes a criminal offense.

LIALPA insists that “Transparency and Accountability” should be the order of the day at LIAT.

However, despite many repeated calls from the pilots to account for their contributions to

date into the Staff Provident Fund, the calls either continues to fall on deaf ears. Last month

(September 29th 2016) this matter escalated at a meeting, when the Company yet again informed

pilots that they will not be getting any information with regards to their retirement funds. The

Company continued to quote the same reasons it has been citing for the past 36 months: “problems

with accountants.”

LIALPA deems this excuse “totally unacceptable.” Therefore, we have come to the general

public, so that they can become aware of the three (3) year old problem, the defiance and

unreasonableness of LIAT’s Management, and the decreasing patience of pilots. LIALPA’s

leadership continues to contain its pilots’ angst and skepticism, but we can only do so much

when the Company remains defiant in activities contrary to Court Decisions and contrary to

Transparency and Accountability.

LIALPA has no other choice but to make a public appeal for LIAT to produce audited statements of

pilots’ contributions into their Retirement Fund. We demand nothing less than a company that

conducts its business in a Transparent and Accountable manner. This would ensure the continued

cooperation and enthusiasm the pilots have shown to the company in the face of this

ongoing three (3) year ordeal.

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