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Thursday, September 29, 2022


Several passengers awaiting LIAT flights have been stranded in St. Thomas over the past two days due to an "industry dispute" that the airline refuses to call a strike.
Juliana Lewis of LIAT's marketing division in Antigua said Wednesday afternoon that no one was available to comment on the situation.
"They are all in meetings trying to dispatch the flights," Lewis said.
She was also unable to say what the job action was about.
"It's an industry dispute between workers and managers," was all Lewis would say.
On Wednesday afternoon, about a dozen stranded passengers were gathered near the LIAT desks at Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas; some sat aimlessly, surrounded by their suitcases, while others grumpily ate lunch on the curb in front of the airport.
"It's disgusting and it's frustrating," a St. Kitts woman said. She said she had been waiting for a flight since Tuesday evening.
"Passengers need to be taken care of better and they need to know what's happening," the woman said.
A man sitting next to her on the bench near the LIAT counter said he had been waiting for a flight out since early Wednesday morning.
Another woman waiting for a flight to St. Kitts since Tuesday night said passengers had been given little information on the canceled flights.
"I have no idea what's going on. Information is coming slow," she said. "I should have left last night at 7 p.m., and they told me to come back this morning and I've been here up until now. I still don't know if I'm going to St. Kitts today, so now I'm on my own."
She said that when her flight was canceled last night, LIAT officials told her it was not their responsibility to feed her or find her lodging for the night.
She said she had heard of a group of passengers who gathered together and hired a charter flight to depart St. Thomas.
Union leaders representing LIAT employees met earlier this month to discuss other labor complaints against the airline. No one could comment on whether the two issues were related.
BBC reported late Wednesday afternoon that four hours of talks took place Wednesday between labor and top LIAT management and that LIAT was back in the air. The talks surrounded the fact that LIAT workers were owed two weeks' back pay. Union leaders also wanted LIAT to dismiss their chief financial officers.

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