BASSETERRE, St Kitts – The President of the Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association (LIAPLA), Captain Carl Burke, has apologised to the travelling public in the Caribbean after pilots refused to fly the ATR72 aircraft operated by the regional carrier, LIAT, over salary increases.
“Well first of all, with the most recent situation which took place last week, I want to apologize to persons that were inconvenienced and I want to give them all reassurance that the pilots normally, usually exhaust all means of negotiations with LIAT . . .” Burke told WINN FM radio station here.
He told radio listeners the LIAPLA had brought in an attorney to assist it with the negotiations and that “there was a deal that was brokered in the Labour Minister’s office on the 24th of May and we thought that would have put the matter of negotiations to bed.
“Unfortunately the company did not follow through, or wrote us on the second of June indicating that they could not meet some of the terms and conditions which were agreed to, but in general before any action is considered we always try to exhaust all means of negotiations.
“We just don’t take action like that and in this case the pilots had no alternative than to stop flying the ATR 72, I think that they could be viewed as being reasonable that they were negotiating a rate of pay for an aircraft that is not covered under your contract for four years, I think four years is a long time,” Burke said.
According to LIAT, it operates 10 ATR aircraft with the ATR72 capable of carrying 68 passengers, “by refusing to fly the ATR72 on the morning of June 7th, several aircraft and passengers were delayed at points of departure, including Trinidad, St Vincent, Tortola and Guyana”.
Burke said that under the new agreement that ended the three-day industrial action, “the pilots will start receiving the wage package or the new ATR salary from July 19 2017”.
He said the retroactive payments will be in three tranches paid from August.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – A Roman Catholic priest, who has been working with young people to help rid Trinidad and Tobago of criminal activity was robbed at gunpoint as he prayed at a Church in the capital on Monday.
Police confirmed that Father Clyde Harvey was robbed by three men as he prayed at the Holy Rosary/St. Martin’s Church in East Port-of-Spain by two men at around 6 a.m. (local time) on Monday.
Father Harvey was reported to have spent the night at the church to prepare for a seminar at The Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Mount St Benedict.
The bandits tied up Father Harvey, ransacked the presbytery and took $1000, a mobile phone and other items from the church before making their escape.
The assailants also threatened to kill the priest.
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – A 52-year-old national from St Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to appear in court here Monday, charged with murdering his Jamaican-born wife.
Police said that they were called to the scene of a domestic violence incident on Saturday and “found a woman unresponsive in her apartment with an apparent stab wound to the neck. She was pronounced dead at the scene”.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Nearly 600 people were murdered in Jamaica during the first six months of this year.
Figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) show that between the period January 1 to June 3, a total of 585 people were murdered representing a 16 percent increase over the corresponding period last year.
According to the figures, 136 people were killed during the month of May, 18 more than the number killed in May last year and 26 more than the number recorded in May 2015.
In the first three days of this month, 5 people have been murdered.
Opposition Spokesman on National Security Peter Bunting said that based on his calculations, approximately 639 people have been killed since the start of the year, including 54 murders reportedly committed during the first 10 days of this month.
“The Opposition is alarmed at the spiralling murder rate, and, really, the lack of a coherent response from the Government on the issue,” said Bunting, adding “we need an emergency allocation of resources to dramatically improve the presence of the police and military.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Usain Bolt marked an emotional farewell at a sell-out stadium in Jamaica by winning his final 100m on home soil.
The 30-year-old will bring down the curtain on his illustrious career when he retires in August after the World Championships in London and began his goodbye in front of 30,000 adoring fans in Kingston.
An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt easily won the ‘Salute a Legend’ race in his first 100m of 2017 but admitted to a rare attack of nerves.
“The run, it was just OK. I must say it was OK. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous running a 100m,” he said.
Bolt clocked 10.03 seconds to win before a lap of honour in front of a raucous crowd who danced, waved flags and blew their vuvuzela horns while fireworks lit the sky.
The 100m and 200m world record holder returned to kiss the finishing line before flashing his signature ‘lightning bolt’ pose.
Bolt may not have been too happy with “possibly one of my worst races” but was more concerned with staying injury free and putting “on a show for the crowd” to show them “I’m thankful for the support over the years”.
He added: “Just the atmosphere and the people, the support they came out and gave me, it was really nerve-racking.
“I never expected this, I knew it was going to be big, the stadium was ram-packed so thank you guys for coming out and supporting me.”
He added: “It’s big to see everybody that turned out. It shows that what I’ve done for the sport is a big deal to them and they really appreciate it.
“So thank you and it was my honour to put the sport of track and field at the top and to continue to dominate.
“I’ll try my best even when I’ve hung up my spikes, to really continue to push track and field in any way possible.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and International Association of Athletics Federations president Sebastian Coe were also in attendance.
“When you’re sitting in the pub and you’re having the discussion: who is the greatest footballer? Nobody will agree on that,” Coe said.
“If you have the same discussion around golf or tennis, everybody will have different views.
“It’s a slam dunk. [Bolt] is the greatest sprinter the world has ever seen.”
Bolt has won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at past three Olympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
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