CAL considers staff cuts

Months after instituting layoffs and wage reductions, regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines is now considering reducing staff. It is also offering Voluntary Early Retirement Plans.

Trinidad's Newsday newspaper says in an email sent by Caribbean Airlines' management, workers were told that given the company's financial situation, it has no choice but take action.

The e-mail also asked staff  earning less than TT$20,000  monthly to accept a further five per cent salary reduction.

They had up to Friday to respond.

Caribbean Airlines CEO Garvin Madera announced that the initial step in the staff  reduction would be the offer of  Voluntary Early Retirement Plans.

The e-mail said while the plan is in currently in motion, other cost-cutting measures needed to be implemented such as lay-offs and further salary cuts.

The latest salary cuts will take effect from June 16 to the end of  the year.

In September last year Caribbean Airlines introduced cost-cutting measures.

They included salary reductions for eight months, lay-offs for one third of  employees for three months, reducing contractors and temporary workers and cancelling allowances that were no longer relevant.

 Meanwhile, General Secretary of  the Aviation Communication and Allied Workers' Union in Trinidad and Tobago, Peter Farmer, says the union was against the extension of  lay-offs.

Farmer says the union suggested that Caribbean Airlines put staff  on rotation instead.

He also said that Caribbean Airlines employees in Jamaica are currently being rotated and questioned why that was not being done in Trinidad and Tobago.

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