Statement on Blackburn V. Liat
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, March 22, 2013 – Captain Michael Blackburn was dismissed by LIAT (1974) Ltd on 5th December 2011.
In June 2012 Captain Blackburn referred the matter of his dismissal to the Labour Department in Antigua and Barbuda which has the responsibility to conciliate for the purpose of voluntary settlement between the parties.
In August 2012, while the matter was still under the consideration of the Labour Department Captain Blackburn filed proceedings in the High Court of Antigua ANUHCY2012/0536 against LIAT challenging his dismissal.
The Labour Department was informed of the High Court Action which to date is still subsisting. In these circumstances where the complainant commences High Court Action before the determination of the conciliation process before the Labour Department, the complainant would usually be regarded to have signalled his intent to have the matter determined by the Court instead of the Labour Department as it is incongruous for both the Labour Department’s conciliation and a High Court Action to be subsisting simultaneously. The High Court Action was in fact last heard on 5th March 2012 when an interlocutory application by Captain Blackburn was dismissed with costs by the Court.
The conciliation process is a confidential process which requires the agreement of both parties to any recommendation for a settlement to be achieved. No award was made by the Labour Department.
LIAT has not accepted the recommendation and is obliged to proceed with the action commenced by Captain Blackburn before the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda.