Ten terminated LIAT pilots have strengthened numbers of their class-action go well with in opposition to the Antigua and Barbuda authorities within the face of a reported menace by the prime minister to shut the St John’s-based firm.
Six extra former pilots Thursday got here ahead so as to add their names to the constitutional movement filed final week within the Excessive Courtroom in St Johns by Barbadian flyer Captain Neil Cave. They insisted that they gained’t be bullied into backing down regardless of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s pledge to finish all assist for LIAT if “pilots and people who symbolize them” proceed to frustrate his efforts to rescue the collapsed service.
Brown instructed Antigua’s Day by day Observer that he may very well be pressured to hasten the airline’s liquidation whereas distancing his authorities from any legal responsibility that may come up.
“If this pilot and people he represents proceed to frustrate our Herculean efforts to salvage LIAT 1974 Ltd… it’s unlucky; that regardless of our greatest efforts to salvage LIAT and our enterprise to honour as much as 50 per cent of the severance legal responsibility on a compassionate foundation; that such a disruptive behaviour is being pursued to undermine our efforts,” Browne instructed the Antigua media outlet which additionally quoted Barbados TODAY’s story on the go well with revealed yesterday.
However Captain Cave instructed Barbados TODAY that the dismissed pilots have a sound declare in opposition to the Browne administration and will likely be urgent ahead with their case.
Captain Cave stated: “Browne is solely on the lookout for a scapegoat due to the scenario by which he finds himself. He’s making an attempt to make use of this litigation for which we’ve got a sound declare, as a scapegoat in speaking about closing LIAT.
“I’ve had six calls from pilots this morning requesting to have their names joined to that class motion go well with as a result of they imagine within the deserves of the go well with.”
In a letter on the eve of Browne’s menace Tuesday, Chairman of the Cupboard’s Sub-Committee on LIAT Lennox Weston instructed the airline’s Administrator Cleveland Seaforth that the St John’s authorities was main an initiative amongst fellow regional shareholders to hunt and assist coordination for staff for as much as half of their calculated terminal advantages by the use of a compassionate fund.
The letter learn: “Choices for cost may embody money, land and deferred bond funds. With a view to additional this initiative, we request that you simply organize to canvass the previous staff and consultant unions to find out whether or not firstly: they’d agree to just accept 50 per cent of staff’ computed advantages as a last payout by way of the compassionate fund and secondly: in the event that they want to pursue different options to advance their declare for compensation.”
Weston stated it was important the airline was reorganized.
“And until this restructuring takes place and LIAT is returned to a “going concern” standing, the one life like supply of compensation for former staff can be the residual quantities left, as soon as the authorized process of winding up the corporate takes place,” the Cupboard Sub-Committee head cautioned.
He reminded the Administrator that no shareholder authorities had any authorized obligation to the corporate, past its restricted legal responsibility obligation.
“On this regard, a cursory take a look at LIAT’s most up-to-date statements would lead any observer to the unmistakable conclusion that there can be little or no profit, if any, to be derived by former staff,” Weston warned.
The constitutional movement in opposition to the federal government is difficult the constitutionality of the just lately amended Corporations Act which prohibits anybody from suing the Antigua and Barbuda authorities over any claims in opposition to LIAT.
The claimants, who’ve named the Legal professional Normal as the one defendant, additionally need the courtroom to order that they be awarded prices and/or different reduction the courtroom might deem simply.
The ex-pilots are additionally requesting that the courtroom declares that Part 564 (1) of the Corporations (Modification) Act No 17 of 2020, is in contravention of Part 15 (8) of the Structure of Antigua and Barbuda by limiting the claimants’ constitutional proper to entry the courtroom for a dedication of their civil declare in opposition to LIAT 1974 Restricted which was filed in 2015 and was pending on the time Parliament handed the legislation.