Wed | Jun 7, 2023

JALPA on new course?

Published:Thursday | February 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM


IF I understand its recent declarations, I am now on-board, as it were, with the Air Jamaica workers coalition, led by Jamaican Airline Pilots Association (JALPA), for coming up at last with a good idea.

The group wants to set up its own airline. I applaud that spirit of business initiative. Take the risk, reap the profit or not. I could not support JALPA and/or other workers seeking to acquire the Air Jamaica name brand, hardware and route entitlements because I feel, rightly or wrongly, that that would have been a clever way to lay a safety net for taxpayer redemption if, or really when, crunchtime came.

It could then play on the Jamaica macho emotions about representing the country in the skies (romantic thought meaning nothing practical) or alternatively, how many families' mouths they were putting food into, and so on.

I, for one, don't like it that the Trinis have to be our saviour in this matter as in others, but it seems to be either that or more Mike Tyson body blows on the economy. I would expect that the Golding administration, which has been doing, so far, some nifty economic footwork, and taking very tough decisions when needed, would negotiate with Caribbean Airlines to save as many jobs as possible in both the pilots' ranks and other workers.

However, I suspect that the days of free flights to Miami to do a bit of Friday evening supermarket shopping will be over if the Trinidadians take over.

I am, etc.,

Patrick Blake