[SkyBahamas] Butler’s Vow Over Future Of Company

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[SkyBahamas] Butler’s Vow Over Future Of Company

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Oct 22, 2013

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/oct ... e-company/

[SkyBahamas] Butler’s Vow Over Future Of Company
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SKY Bahamas CEO Captain Randy Butler says he will not allow a competition-led union, the Bahamian Pilots Alliance (BPA), to influence how he runs his company amid a restructuring exercise expected to lay-off dozens of non technical employees.

Mr Butler explained yesterday that the Alliance, which has an executive body of only Bahamasair pilots, has no regard for the financial position of Sky, which has no choice but to furlough workers until finances improve.

He said the airline was in a serious position as it is currently operating at 15 to 20 per cent of its overall capacity. To substantiate his claims he said Sky Bahamas’ domestic flight services did not even meet the half mark in passengers yesterday. In addition, a decision was made to relocate the Blake Road offices to LPIA in an effort to cut back on company expenditure.

The first round of layoffs at the airline came on Friday evening after 12 Sky pilots staged a sick out, although the Alliance’s president Mark Johnson denies that they took any industrial action. He maintains that all of the pilots were genuinely sick. During the sick out, the company’s chief executive said $123,000 was lost in trying to reassign passengers that were displaced.

Among the group, were pilots who received salaries of $37,000 to $60,000 a year, Mr Butler said. He was not able to tell this newspaper just how many of the staff members would be let go.

“We still don’t know,” he said, “what the issues are about. This sick-out, it’s duplicitous for people to get up and say 12 pilots were out sick the same time on the same dates.

“Some of the pilots have admitted that they were not sick and we have a company doctor that they could go to for free, that we pay and that we have said is the company doctor. Not one of those people went to the company doctor for free.

“What happened last week was just the thing that broke the camel’s back. I said while I respect the rights of everyone to do what they have to do, everyone has to accept responsibility.

“I cannot pay everybody. I cannot operate like that any longer. Even if they come back to work today we cannot take all of them back to work. We would love to, but we cannot because of the losses that we have incurred.”

Mr Butler said in offering the workers a furlough, Sky was simply saying that the company reserved the right to call any employee back in the short term as the economy gets better.

Sky Bahamas currently has 126 employees and has earned a reputation as a preferred choice for domestic travel since 2008.

Meanwhile, the BPA’s president Mark Johnson is demanding that Mr Butler pay the workers severance packages. They were expected to file a trade dispute yesterday morning.

Mr Johnson said: “All of these guys have families and I would think that if a company decides to terminate you shouldn’t try to run away from legal obligations if you are going to terminate just give them their severance packages and move on with their life, especially if you didn’t give them two weeks notice. I know all of them are BPA members.

“The company claims that this was in the making for sometime now. I never advised anyone to have a sick out. I can only state the facts.”

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