The Trinidad and Tobago Airline pilots Association (TTALPA) on Thursday issued a statement regarding the decision by some its pilots to sick out, causing chaotic scenes as Caribbean Airlines was forced to cancel numerous flights on Tuesday. The following is TTALPA's statement -
The Trinidad and Tobago Airline pilots Association (TTALPA) feels it is incumbent upon us to provide and explanation to the travelling public concerning the events of Tuesday July 1, 2014, where according to CAL approximately 47 pilots called sick. CAL has stated its position and we will respond in kind.
While TTALPA, as the recognized majority union, cannot sanction industrial action, we understand fully the frustration of our individual members. This we have pointed out to CAL numerous times over the years and to all levels of the organization. TTALPA has never demanded anything of CAL and has utilized a non-confrontational approach through dialogue, which over the years has been rewarded with broken promises and worst of all, procrastination. CAL now chooses to avoid the fact that their inaction is the major cause in these events and lay the blame solely at the feet of the pilots. TTALPA will continue to support its members.
Despite their claims, over the last few years, CAL has not been dealing with us in good faith which has caused us to register our issues with the Ministry of Labour as Trade Disputes. However, the pilots continued to exercise extreme patience and professionalism.
As of Wednesday 02 July 2014, we have been able to reach partial agreement on some of the more serious issues with further meetings scheduled during this month.
TTALPA would like to assure the travelling public that we will continue to deal with CAL’s management transparently and in good faith. It is our expectation that CAL will honour its recent commitments. Our members would continue to display the levels of service, professionalism and adherence to safety that has become synonymous with CAL’s pilots and that you have been experiencing over the years. We move forward with a renewed faith and commitment.