ST.JOHN, Antigua (CARIBUPDATE/OCT 14, 2016) - President of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots’ Association (LIALPA) Carl Burke has said that what LIAT needs right now is not “a CEO with training wheels”.
Asked whether he had confidence in the Acting CEO, Julie Reifer-Jones, Burke responded that LIAT needs a CEO who has experience; somebody who could handle what is taking place right now, and somebody who could stand up to the heads of government.
As it stands, he said, Reifer-Jones is only able to make decisions at a board level, since acting CEOs do not have much authority.Reifer-Jones has been the airline’s chief accountant for near eight years, and has acted as chief executive officer (CEO) on several occasions, after at least two CEOs resigned abruptly.
She is a hopeful candidate for the CEO position, which she said would be announced in the next three months.
According to LIALPA’s president, one of LIAT management problems is that too many decisions are being made without consultation.
He said the union will not endorse any further “ad hoc business decisions” made by the LIAT shareholders or its board.
“I’ve yet to see what the impact would be on us removing those flights from Grenada; it must amount to a significant loss and no one from LIAT’s management can yet say to this organisation that we’ll be either profiting or losing by making this decision,” he stated.
Burke fears that the decision will lead to LIAT asking much more of pilots.
“The company is now going to come to the pilots and ask the pilots to make a sacrifice, to have wage freezes; to work without meal breaks because we have time constraints because we are short of crew,” he complained.