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Fiji Sun



January 02
11:17 2018

The Government has made it clear that Air Terminal Service (ATS) workers on strike in Nadi must make a wise decision to think of their children and return to work.

“The workers will suffer and not their advisers,” said a statement from Government as it reiterated the stance take by ATS management. This is for workers  to sign the letter acknowledging that they did wrong in walking off their jobs.

“Striking workers should be mindful that the 2018 school year is starting soon and they should think of their children.

“Workers  have to sign the letter because their walkout was illegal.”

Those who are advising them including their union representatives, the leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Sitiveni Rabuka, National Federation Party (NFP),the now suspended Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others are not familiar with the Fiji employment legislations.

The workers had told the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations  Jone Usamate that they wanted to return to work but they did not want to sign the letter from the management.

“Government is advising you to sign the letter,” the Government release spelt out.

The workers had wanted to write their own letters as proposed by their secretary, Vilikesa Naulumatua, and they had faith in the Prime Minister in resolving the crisis.

However, it was suggested that if they had faith in the Prime Minister they should sign the letter prepared by the management to show that what they did was wrong and return to work.

Government said workers should accept the management’s proposals because they would benefit in the long run.

The workers and their advisors should read a letter by Sovala Pace from Sydney, Australia titled ‘ATS Resolution’.

The letter reads: “The ATS saga will only be resolved if workers with management in good faith without politicians and unionists hiding in the shadows pulling strings.

“The politicians who are adding fuel to the fire are not going to be the unemployed ones dear brothers and sisters. You are being used by them. Think about your families.”

Government said the economy would not be affected because more than 1000 had applied to be interviewed to work at ATS.

It has now gone into the third week since workers walked off their jobs to attend a beneficiaries meeting that was also a stop-work protest.

The management of ATS wants the workers to return to work, but not without signing a statement acknowledging that they did wrong in walking off their jobs to attend the beneficiaries meeting.

Mediation talks have reached a stalemate with no solution in sight. 

Edited by Percy Kean



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