Caribbean Airlines Seeking Intervention Of Labour Minister Amid Industrial Dispute With Pilots

(CMC) – The state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) says it has reported its industrial dispute with its pilots to the Minister of Labour, even as it said it “remains committed to a constructive and transparent dialogue” with their union.

In a statement, CAL said that it had engaged the Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots Association (TTALPA) last week “regarding the ongoing negotiations for the collective agreement for pilots from the period September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2018.

“After careful consideration and in light of the challenges faced in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution, Caribbean Airlines Limited has decided to engage the processes under the Industrial Relations Act and to have the matter reported to the Minister of Labour.”

On August 20, the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago granted an ex-parte injunction to CAL whose services had been severely affected by a sickout by pilots, resulting in the cancellation of several domestic, regional, and international flights.

The injunction was granted against the TTALPA, preventing its president, executive members as well as their servants or agents from “taking or continuing to take and/or participating howsoever in industrial action within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act…including calling in sick en-mass.”

But, the association denied that there has been a sickout or industrial action, saying it was “unaware of any strike action being taken by the pilot body”.

In its latest statement, CAL said that it “remains committed to a constructive and transparent dialogue with TTALPA and is hopeful that the intervention of the Minister of Labour will lead to an early resolution.”