Fly Jamaica employees fuming over owed salaries

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…passengers yet to be refunded

Promises by Fly Jamaica Airlines to disburse compensation to its employees are yet to materialize, and many of these staffers are questioning the company’s allegiance towards providing these payments.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ronald Reece stated in a letter to employees on Friday, March 29, 2019 that their services were redundant as of March 31, 2019.

According to him, the company was hoping to secure funding, but that acquisition process has been slow. Reece nevertheless assured employees that the compensation they are owed from November to date will be provided.

Speaking to Inews on Thursday, one of the former employees said he is owed his monthly salary for January, 2019 and other sums for overtime work carried out during 2018. However, other employees have not been paid for several months, and there has been no definite answer on when these remunerations will be disbursed.

“We didn’t get paid the overtime for November. We didn’t get paid for December, January, February or March. I worked January, so I need my overtime; and I didn’t get paid for January as yet,” the employee stated.

He said this prolonged waiting period raises concerns among many former employees regarding when they will be paid. Guyana Times understands that the company had some 400 employees on its payroll.

Fly Jamaica’s operations took a downward spiral after the November 9, 2018 crash-landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), which saw an 85-year-old passenger succumbing one week later.

The Boeing 757 aircraft crashed on an emergency landing less than an hour after taking off for Toronto, Canada. The aircraft had experienced technical complications and decided to return to Guyana.

At the time, there were 118 adults, along with two infants and an eight-member crew onboard.

This publication was informed that a small number of persons were compensated, while most of them were not refunded. Following the crash, other flights were cancelled, and travellers had no other choice but to book flights with other airlines. Most of them commented on social media about the company’s failure to refund their monies.

“Some of the passengers were compensated, and some weren’t. Most of the passengers did not get back their refund as yet. They would usually give persons weekly, so we don’t know how many were compensated,” a former employee informed.

It was reported last month that the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) has been forced to intervene in the situation with Fly Jamaica and its passengers. This is after several written complaints were filed stating their distresses. This prompted officials of the company to declare that customers would be reimbursed in the third week of March.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of CCAC, Allison Parker, had stated that the Commission would take action if the airline did not keep its side of the bargain.

Meanwhile, the employees were informed that if the circumstances of the company changes in the future and they are still interested in rejoining staff, then they will be allowed to do so.

Calls to the local numbers listed for Fly Jamaica went unanswered.

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