SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is set to send home one-third of its staff for the next three months, as the airline struggles to cope with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release on Tuesday morning, CAL said it also would cut the salaries of those who are paid more than $7,500 a month for eight months, starting in mid-October.

The higher the salary, the bigger the cuts, the release said.

The layoffs will be decided on the “role and current needs of the business,” the airline said.

“Continued cost reductions wherever possible, including reducing contractors and temporary workers and allowances that are not relevant at this time,” the release stated.

CAL said standard industrial relations criteria were used to select the employees who will be temporarily laid off.

“The leadership team recognizes the impact of these measures on its employees and their dependents and has put systems in place to support those affected.”

The airline assured stakeholders that its current operations would not be impacted by the layoffs.

Although the country’s borders remain closed, the airline is still operational for domestic flights between Trinidad and Tobago, cargo operations, the Kingston and Barbados based commercial service, and special repatriation flights from around the world.