Crime & Court

Court Dismisses Federated Airline Staff Association’s Summons

The summons was filed by FASA seeking that Air Terminal Services (ATS) be restrained from terminating the members of FASA from employment and also from terminating the collective agreement dated January 22, 1998 until the final determination of the matter.
14 Jul 2020 10:17
Court Dismisses Federated Airline Staff Association’s Summons

The Employment Relations Court in Suva has dismissed Federated Airline Staff Association’s (FASA) summons dated June 23, and June 30, 2020.

The summons was filed by FASA seeking that Air Terminal Services (ATS) be restrained from terminating the members of FASA from employment and also from terminating the collective agreement dated January 22, 1998 until the final determination of the matter.

The case involves 595 members of FASA and their termination of employment from ATS.

Other orders made by Justice Mohammed Javed Mansoor are that directions are to be taken for the hearing of the originating summons filed on June 30 2020, and parties are to bear their own costs.

FASA had sought the following orders:

  • A declaration that the ATS’s termination letter dated June 19, 2020, is unlawful and is in breach of the collective agreement dated January 22, 1998;
  • An order that the termination letters dated June 19, 2020, addressed to all members of the ATS be withdrawn forthwith;
  • A declaration that the doctrine of frustration and/or the statutory exception of act of God do not apply to collective agreements;
  • An injunction that the ATS and/or servants and/or their agents be restrained from terminating the collective agreement;
  • An injunction that the ATS and/or servants and/or their agents be restrained from terminating the members of the FASA association;
  • An injunction that the ATS and/or servants and/or their agents be restrained from recruiting and/or acting upon the advertisement published in the Fiji Sun dated June 27, 2020;
  • An order that the employees who were purportedly terminated by letter dated June 19, 2020, and whose position has been advertised in the Fiji Sun dated June 27, 2020, be forthwith reinstated to their original position under the collective agreement.

FASA’s lawyer, Niveen Padarath, in his submissions, said ATS had used the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to terminate workers when clearly there was no law or basis to do so.

He called upon the court to restrain the ATS from employing people in the positions from which its members were terminated by misrepresenting that no work was available and that all workers terminated for those positions should be immediately reinstated.

According to the submissions filed by ATS lawyer, Devanesh Sharma and Gul Fatima, the decision to terminate the members of the FASA was communicated to FASA by letter dated June 18, 2020.

ATS claimed that it had informed all its employees as early as March 24, 2020, including the FASA members, of the drastic impact COVID-19 had on its business; that the FASA was kept informed of developments throughout the period of March 19 and June 18, 2020.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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