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SkyBahamas re-hires some laid off workers

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SkyBahamas re-hires some laid off workers

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Nov 14, 2013

http://www.thenassauguardian.com/index. ... &Itemid=27

SkyBahamas re-hires some laid off workers
ROYSTON JONES Jr. Guardian Staff Reporter
Nov 13, 2013

Just over a month after SkyBahamas furloughed nine pilots and laid off another 10 non-technical staff, the airline has brought back just over a dozen of those employees on the payroll, according to SkyBahamas CEO Randy Butler.

In late October, the airline furloughed the pilots for six months, pointing to serious financial challenges as the reason for the move.

Just days later, a group of employees was laid off.

Yesterday, Butler said three pilots and five non-technical staff were provided severance packages.

Another four pilots and five non-technical staff were brought back on a reduced scheduled or placed on vacation, Butler said.

The decision to furlough the group of pilots came after the Bahamian Pilots Alliance (BPA) allegedly staged a sick-out.

The union has denied industrial action was taken.

“Had we not had the sick-out we would have had an operation where some of the pilots would have gone on training and some of them would have gone of vacation,” Butler said.

“...We have two airplanes out for maintenance, so it is not like we could have just hired people back; it was just impossible to do that.

“But we did work a relationship with those people who were prepared to do vacation or do reduced days.”

As it relates to the severance packages, Butler called them “nothing big” but did not provide specifics.

“The severance pay for the other ones (non-technical staff) were quite low and for the pilots were really nothing big,” Butler said.

“I think we have in severance pay two people, who kind of have small challenges because they have hired lawyers.

“The severance pay is nothing big; you are not talking about long-term people so they are not big numbers at all.”

However, BPA President Mark Johnson accused Butler of “union busting” regarding the pilots being brought back.

He alleged that those pilots were forced to abandon the union and withdrew their trade disputes at the Department of Labour in order to return to the airline.
Butler has denied that allegation.

Meanwhile, Butler expressed optimism about the future of the company as Family?Island business picks up.

SkyBahamas has been able to book around 82 percent of its capacity since last Thursday on the New Providence-Cat Island route, the CEO noted.

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