JTUM supports pilots’ union on pay increase from CAL

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie at work in his office at the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development at Tower C, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. –

The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) is concerned about Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie’s reported comment to a media house that the ten per cent wage increase the Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots Association (TTALPA) is seeking from Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is unrealistic.

A release from JTUM on Monday said the comment was “extremely disturbing” and came across as biased towards to the employer.

It said, “JTUM firmly believes the statement made by the minister is a regressive step that undermines the principles of fair and impartial labour negotiations and collective bargaining.”

It added that TTALPA has been seeking the Minister of Labour’s intervention in the negotiations over the 2015-2018 period between CAL and TTALPA between 2021 and July.

“The delay in the minister’s response to these requests raises concerns about its commitment to fair labour practices and its responsibility to ensure timely and equitable resolutions in the interests of all parties involved.”

JTUM said it stands in full support of TTALPA and the pilots and called on the minister to take immediate steps to rectify the situation.

“We urge the ministry to provide a fair and neutral platform for negotiations between CAL and TTALPA to ensure that the rights and interests of workers are protected and respected throughout this process.”

Commenting to Newsday on Monday via text on the negotiations, CAL’s corporate communications officer Dionne Ligoure said, “Negotiations continue between the union and the company. The company continues to negotiate in goodwill.”

Last Thursday, CAL’s CEO Garvin Medera met with the pilots in negotiations which went beyond 4 pm.

On Friday, Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, applied to join CAL in its ongoing injunction preventing pilots from industrial action. The airline sought the injunction after pilots called in sick from August 18-20.

In total, the airline received 93 calls from 75 pilots – 20 calling in sick on August 18, 19 calling on August 19, and 54 on August 20.