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Caribbean Airlines Extends Temp Layoffs, Invites Employees to Apply for Early Retirement.

Mar 18, 2021

Caribbean Airlines has extended the temporary layoff of its employees for a further three months and is now inviting employees to apply for early retirement.

The news was relayed to staff in an email from Chief Executive Officer Garvin Medera who offered an update on the airline’s current situation and plans.

Mr Medera pointed out that the Covid-19 global crisis has massively impacted on the company’s performance, particularly compared to its previous upwards trajectory.

He stated that the airline has reduced third party liabilities somewhat thanks to further government support and negotiated significant reductions in expected fleet costs.

However he noted that the financial situation of the airline remains precarious, with no sign of an imminent resurgence in business nor the Trinidad and Tobago borders reopening to international passenger services.

Mr Medera told employees that consequently, CAL must “maintain the strictest controls on expenditure” and added that on that basis the company had no choice but to further extend the temporary layoffs for a further three month period from April 15, 2021.

He clarified that this will run on from the existing layoff period and apply to the same employees.

He revealed that in addition to the temporary layoffs, employees will be invited to apply for early retirement or in some cases part time employment.

CAL’s Vice President- Human Resources, Roger Berkeley, in a subsequent email explained that employees 55 years and older will be eligible for the early retirement plan.

He revealed that the HR Department will also hold a series of information sessions (both online and in-person) to provide detailed information on the plans and answer any questions that employees may have.

The temporary layoff extension will mean that some employees will have been out of work for 9 months when the extension comes to an end. Prior to the COVID 19 crisis the company had seen drastic improvements in its financial status, having posted a pretax profit for the first time in years.

Calls by our newsroom to Mr Medera and to CAL’s Chairman, Shameeer Mohammed, went unanswered.

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