ST JOHN’S, Antigua – More than seven months after he was fired by LIAT, outspoken pilot Captain Michael Blackburn says he is yet to be paid more than 150 thousand EC dollars that the airline owes him.
Blackburn was terminated by the Antigua-headquartered LIAT after years of confrontation with management in his capacity as chairman of the union representing the airline’s pilots.
On Monday, he confirmed what a Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association LIALPA source told OBSERVER Media.
Still outstanding is almost a month’s pay in lieu of notice and about six weeks vacation pay that should have accompanied his dismissal letter in early December 2011.
Captain Blackburn also reckons that LIAT owes him about 100 thousand dollars from the provident fund after working 35 years for the company.
The former LIAPA chairman has indicated that he may soon initiate legal action to get his money.
A LIAT insider, who spoke with our news desk, said when an employee is dismissed such payments are expected to be made immediately, and certainly should not be kept on hold for that long.
He said a similar situation of non-payment has befallen another and even more senior pilot who retired recently.
However, according to our source, a third pilot who had been with LIAT for much less time than Blackburn had was paid everything due him immediately upon resigning last year.
Several of his colleagues are of the view that the fortunate pilot was able to force LIAT’s hand because he tool legal steps. Attempts to get reaction from LIAT have so far failed.