Liat to close offices in Dominica and Caribbean

first_img Share Share Share Tweet The efforts of the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU) and other trade unions of the Caribbean, were not enough to persuade airline LIAT to change plans to close its ticketing offices around the region.The trade unions met with the board of directors of LIAT Tuesday in Barbados, to seek to talk Antigua-based carrier out of the proposal which could see 100 workers including those at the LIAT office in Dominica, lose their jobs.WAWU Secretary-Treasurer Kertist Augustus argued that unemployment levels in the region are already worrying.“In our response we looked at the whole question of the high unemployment which exists within the Caribbean and that we cannot accept these redundancies because to our mind they would further aggravate an already serious situation,” Augustus stated.He disclosed Wednesday the WAWU also spoke of sacrifices that LIAT workers have made in order to keep LIAT flying, including surviving suspension of pension payments at one point, as well as cut backs. Sharing is caring! LocalNewsRegional Liat to close offices in Dominica and Caribbean by: – March 30, 2011 But LIAT maintained that the cuts would save the company $3 million, at a time when it is grappling to survive in a tougher financial period.Tuesday’s meeting concluded that the closure of LIAT ticketing offices is inevitable.Trade unions are now focusing on ensuring LIAT workers receive fair deals. Augustus said LIAT intends on making the closure effective May 04 but the WAWU has argued this is too short notice.He said LIAT’s plan will have to change in the case of Dominica. “People whose services with LIAT is more than 10 years must be given the minimum of two months notice so the intention of LIAT to try to have early closure effective the 4th of May would have to be reviewed in the case of Dominica for some of the staff, to be effective the 4th of June.”Dominica Vibes News 44 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

What if the Steelers had picked Dan Marino ahead of the Dolphins in the 1983 NFL Draft?

first_imgOf course, the Steelers chose Luckman on the Bears’ behalf, and then traded him to Chicago. They cut Unitas after training camp. They traded Dawson after a couple of uneventful seasons.At least the Marino experience taught an enduring lesson: Dan Rooney, president during the Super Bowl years, had brought up the possibility of drafting Marino before the coaching staff settled on Rivera. In 2004, when Roethlisberger was available and Cowher was leaning toward selecting Auburn guard Shawn Andrews, Rooney reminded the Steelers’ war room of the potential consequences of passing Big Ben.“It’s been cited. Dan said: ‘I’m not going to tell you who to draft, but passing on a franchise quarterback is the worst thing that will live with you. It’s lived with me. I still yell at my brother Artie about this. It will keep you up at nights for years,’” Wexell told SN. “And they did a re-read. They changed to Ben Roethlisberger and lived happily ever after.” It was 64 degrees and sunny in Miami that day, but given it was January, Dan Marino was playing quarterback for the home team and the victor of the game in question would be headed to the Super Bowl, it felt more like 164 degrees to the Pittsburgh Steelers.“We would score on like a 10- or 12-play drive,” former Steelers guard Craig Wolfley told Sporting News. “Danny comes back with Mark Duper and Mark Clayton and like three throws he’s over the 50-yard line, down around our 35 or 30. I remember (Pittsburgh center) Mike Webster got off the bench, grabbed the Gatorade and he went to the sidelines and yelled, ‘Jesus, could you slow ‘em down so I can get a drink?’ “That’s how good Danny was. It was just unbelievable. I remember Jack Lambert hit Danny, and he’s almost horizontal going backward with Lambert all in his grill, and he sidearms it to Tony Nathan, who gets a first down. You couldn’t get to Danny if all five offensive linemen had a heart attack at once and dropped to the ground.”MORE: NFL Draft sleepers: 11 possible stealsThe Dolphins won that game, 45-28, and went on to play in Super Bowl 19. You may not be aware, but this story could have been entirely different — maybe a little less humorous, but a lot happier for Steelers fans. The 1984 AFC Championship could have been played in Pittsburgh on an overcast 36-degree day, and Marino could have been wearing the classic black-and-gold uniform of his hometown team.Marino was the 27th player chosen in the 1983 NFL Draft. The Steelers picked 21st. Marino had been an All-American in his junior year at Pitt. He had been a prep superstar at Central Catholic High School, five miles from where Three Rivers Stadium once stood. When it was the Steelers’ turn to make their selection, though, with four other quarterbacks already selected and Marino still available, they opted for Gabe Rivera, a defensive tackle from Texas Tech.The Steelers had selected a quarterback just three years earlier, when they were coming off their fourth Super Bowl victory and picked Mark Malone with the last pick of the first round. Cliff Stoudt had been a member of the team since he was taken in 1977’s fifth round, and the staff believed in his potential. And Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw was about to turn 35, but was coming off a strike-shortened season in which he led the NFL in touchdown passes.Dan Marino, though.Did it seem like a good idea at the time?“I have looked back at newspapers in Pittsburgh, and there was no mention of taking Marino as a possibility,” Jim Wexell, publisher of Steel City Insider, told SN. “This retrospect that everybody has, this shock that everybody has — there was no shock the next day in the paper. I think there was some explanation, a bit, because he was a Pitt player. But they were more explaining why they didn’t take Dave Rimington, went through his bad knees and that.”Marino subsequently threw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns for the Dolphins. The single-season record for passing yards he set in 1984, the season in which he trucked the Steelers on the way to the Super Bowl, stood for 27 years. His career passing yards record held for 12 years. His record for career touchdown passes fell to Brett Favre within a decade, but Marino still stands fifth in career touchdown passes.Pittsburgh, all this could have been yours. And, perhaps, so much more.It might have come at a price, though.A look at what might have been:The Steelers reach the 1984 Super BowlThis seems almost a given. Although there were many great years to follow, that was Marino at his best. He wouldn’t have played in the same offense; the Steelers did not throw nearly as often as the Dolphins. He would have been surrounded by a team, though, that managed to reach the championship game with someone other than Marino at quarterback.It seems unlikely they would have been capable of beating that year’s 49ers once there. They were one of the greatest teams in NFL history, with a 15-1 regular season record and an 18.7-point margin of victory in three postseason games. The experience of coming close, though, might have driven the team forward to subsequent excellence.“Dan was extremely popular. He was a great leader,” said Bob Smizik, who covered Marino at Pitt and subsequently became a columnist for both The Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “At that point in my career, I had never seen that kind of leadership. Players just gravitated to him. He had that swagger, he was a solid guy. In the locker room, he was ‘Iceman.’ That was his nickname with the players.”Chuck Noll stays longerIn Michael MacCambridge’s exquisite biography of the Hall of Fame Steelers coach — “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work” — the author describes Noll in his final season as beaten down, struggling. Joanne Deininger, his niece, said Noll was struggling to connect with the players, to motivate them.If Marino had been slinging touchdowns all over Three Rivers, think that would have been a problem?Noll was only 59 when he retired. He won his final game, received the game ball from the team captains, then a few days later sat down with owner Dan Rooney and said, “I think it’s time for me to get on with my life’s work,” a catch phrase he’d used in the past with reporters when suggesting aging players might be done with playing.Noll ended with a record of 193-148. He reached double figures in victories just once after winning the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl, in 1979. He still is eighth on the career wins list, but it’s easy to imagine him passing fifth-place Curly Lambeau (225 wins) with Marino on his side.“They didn’t have really great teams in the ’80s. They would have been infinitely better,” Smizik said. “Now, you can’t forget they only went to one Super Bowl with the Dolphins. Poor Don Shula was never able to give Marino complementary players. He would have had better targets with the Steelers.”MORE: NFL mock draft 2020 with tradesThe Bill Cowher era never happensCowher was 34 years old and had been Chiefs defensive coordinator for three years when the Steelers hired him to replace Noll. He obviously was someone to watch as a head coaching candidate.He would not have gotten the Chiefs job anytime soon. Marty Schottenheimer, who brought him over from the Browns, spent another seven seasons there and won 72 games in that stretch. So Cowher likely would have ended up somewhere else. Perhaps to Denver the following year, after Dan Reeves was fired, but perhaps he would have had to wait awhile. Not many hot young defensive coordinators were hired to become head coaches in that period. Ray Rhodes didn’t get the Eagles job until 1995.Perhaps the best-case scenario is Noll might have been genuinely tired after three more successful years, and the Steelers would have hired Cower to replace him then.By 1995, though, even without Marino on his side, Cowher had led the Steelers to four consecutive playoff berths, two AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. He is a part of this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class. It seems the Steelers’ decision not to draft Marino worked out beautifully for Cowher.“Now you’re really getting me into one of those ‘Back to the Future’-type things,” said Wolfley, who has been an analyst with the Steelers Radio Network since 2005. “Obviously, if Chuck had won a couple more, I think the whole paradigm shifts as far as coaching eras.”Louis Lipps becomes a Hall of FamerWith such quarterbacks as Malone, Bubby Brister and Neil O’Donnell throwing to him, Lipps caught 359 passes in his career for an average of 16.8 yards per reception. He never caught more than 59 balls, but five times hit the 50 mark and, in 1985, accumulated 1,134 yards.“I really think Louis would have been just unbelievable,” Wolfley told SN. “Louis was one of the most underrated great talents I remember in a long time.”So why didn’t the Steelers take Marino? Part of it was their quarterback room seemed pretty full, with Noll sincerely concerned about how drafting Marino would have impacted Bradshaw and his plan to play a few more years.Part of it was Noll’s belief the team needed to begin rebuilding a defense that had lost Joe Greene to retirement two years earlier and Jack Ham the year before. The intent was to move to a 3-4 scheme, and Rivera looked like the perfect — not the ideal, but the perfect — nose tackle.And part of it might have been concern Marino that had gotten a bit wild during his senior year, when his performance declined noticeably. That probably was a factor in his being available when the Steelers drafted.“Art Rooney Jr. has told me that they investigated him pretty thoroughly on those matters, and they felt it was just minor recreational stuff,” Wexell told SN.But Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, then on the Steelers’ defensive staff, told MacCambridge the team “knew a little too much” about Marino. “You heard all the rumors and everything.”Rivera was 6-2, 298 pounds but ran a 4.8 40-yard dash. He was a consensus All-American at Texas Tech in 1982. He made 105 tackles that season from a defensive line position. He played only six games for the Steelers, though, and then was paralyzed in an automobile accident while driving drunk.“How do you quantify what Gabe was capable of doing? He was such a special guy,” Wolfley said. “He was fast. He ran quarterbacks and running backs down from behind. That kind of speed was scary. But we never saw the opportunity for Gabe to become the guy who had a lot of Steel Curtain attributes.”MORE: Believe Bradshaw when he says BigBen is best Steelers QB everThere is a suspicion that perhaps it was best for Marino to get away from Pittsburgh at that age, to enter new surroundings and build something entirely new. That’s a theory that can’t be proven wrong. Marino entered the Hall of Fame in 2005. He still lives in South Florida and is active in business, including as a co-owner of a winery and a pizza chain.“The team that drafted Sid Luckman, Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson, Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger did not draft Dan Marino,” Wexell said. “They could have had Hall of Famers at that position through just about every year of their history.”last_img read more