The Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) has blamed mismanagement over the years for the problems facing the regional airline LIAT, according to media reports.
ABWU General Secretary, David Massiah, was quoted as saying that mismanagement is the main cause of LIAT’s problems.
Antigua Observer reported that Massiah told a news conference this week that LIAT has failed to take the issue of mismanagement seriously, even when repeatedly brought to its attention by the union.
Providing examples of the mismanagement to which he referred, Massiah suggested LIAT had unnecessarily allowed itself to become the subject of legal proceedings which it had lost, resulting in huge financial awards against the airline, thus causing further increases to its debt load, the newspaper said.
The ABWU official is reported to have referred to a fire several years ago which destroyed LIAT’s maintenance hangar in Antigua and the loss of a plane that was inside the facility for servicing at the time.
He said the ABWU had recommended firing the person in charge for not electronically backing up files and records, but LIAT simply dismissed the union.
According to Massiah, another concern the union brought to LIAT’s attention concerns the airline’s route rights and its persistent shortage of aircraft.
He said while the ABWU is “all about saving LIAT,” a practical and sensible blueprint or template must be presented before any effective measures can be taken to alleviate the airline’s plight, it was reported.
LIAT has been plagued by financial difficulties and industrial unrest for many years across the numerous Caribbean territories in which it operates.