Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2014 Contents A19
November 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
The T&T Airline Pilots Association
(TTALPA) are questioning why the new
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) chairman, Michael
DiLollo, warranted such a hefty paycheck
while their wage negotiations have stalled
for the past four years.
The association also yesterday refuted
claims by Finance Minister Larry Howai in
a report on Friday where he defended DiLol-
lo s salary and said that DiLollo had boosted
"TTALPA categorically denies this, stating
that that is far from the truth and, in fact,
the morale of the pilots is at an all time low!"
the group said in a media release yesterday.
The stalled negotiations are currently before
the Industrial Court as all attempts at res-
olution before the Labour Minister have failed.
They said that DiLollo has been on the job
for seven months and their outstanding issues
are yet to be addressed.
The union represents pilots based in
Trinidad and Jamaica who work for CAL.
The union said that in April, representatives
"marched into CAL s head offices to hand in
letters expressing their disgust with working
conditions, the late payments of outstanding
salaries, and the long delay in settling salary
negotiations for the 2010 to 2013 period."
TTALPA said while it did not begrudge
DiLollo his reported US$33,000-per-month
salary, it agreed with Communications Min-
ister Vasant Bharath who said that the airline
industry is under competitive pressure world-
wide and that it is necessary to pay com-
petitive compensation in order to attract
people with the required expertise to work
"What TTALPA hopes is that the airline
also understands that this rationale applies
similarly to CAL s pilots and other employees,
whose commitment and dedication are essen-
tial to turning around this non-profitable
airline," TTALPA said.
The association also noted that it was
"somewhat disappointing" while DiLollo was
earning and receiving his salary in a timely
manner, "pilots continue to fight for out-
standing payments still owed to them from
as far back as 2010.".
The representative body said it was still
deadlocked with CAL for the 2010-2013
"Some fifteen (15) months have already
elapsed since the end of the period for which
these negotiations are ongoing," it said.
Among the list of complaints, CAL pilots
said that they are often penalised when ill
or otherwise "unfit for duty." See Page A26
Fifty-three families uprooted by the
$7.4 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway
extension have received lots in the newly
developed Petite Morne estate in Ste
They were among 350 residents who
accepted compensation from the State as
it continued its land acquisition to facilitate
the new highway connecting Point Fortin
to San Fernando.
Speaking at the function on Thursday,
Junior Works Minister Stacy Roopnarine
said the highway could not be built without
the residents support. She said since 2011
negotiations had been ongoing and the
Government never pursued mandatory
acquisition, but used a humanitarian
approach in dealing with residents.
"This is the largest infrastructure project
in the history of the country and today,
I am proud to say that not one family was
ever put on the streets," Roopnarine said.
She noted that Nidco has been relocating
entire communities so as to not disrupt
Director of the Environmental Health
and Safety Unit Doorlal Ramlal told the
residents that all concerns would be
addressed, and even though it was not
easy to give up their homes, they were
doing yeoman service to the country by
making personal sacrifices.
Roopnarine promised the quality of the
highway would not be compromised
despite the recent slippage of the part of
the shoulder during heavy rains last week.
Roopnarine said, "Our contractor and
consultant are taking the necessary steps
to rectify that particular problem. We have
had the challenge of rain over the past
couple of days, but we do anticipate that will be
solved in a timely manner."
She said the Government had engaged Arcon
Engineering Consultants, one of the best companies
in the world, to ensure that the highway was prop-
53 families affected by South highway get land
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