NEWS

Disaster Looms For Workers?

Air Terminal Services (ATS) workers, who abandoned their work to attend a three-hour stop work protest, have been warned that it could be disastrous if they continued to go down
19 Dec 2017 12:37
Disaster Looms  For Workers?
Air Terminal Services Staffs having lunch outside the company premises in Nadi on December 17,2017. PHOTO: KARALAINI TAVI.

Air Terminal Services (ATS) workers, who abandoned their work to attend a three-hour stop work protest, have been warned that it could be disastrous if they continued to go down the path they have chosen

It is now up to concerned workers to take the next step. So they have been asked to write letters admitting their fault. The ATS board chairperson Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told the Fiji Sun that this was the option given to protesting workers when he met them in Nadi yesterday.

“They were asked to return to work. I have told them that they can’t just return to work without first writing a letter stating that they willfully abandoned their stations of work and attended an illegal meeting,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“In the letter, they are to write that upon returning to work, management can exercise the right to take disciplinary against them.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was now up to concerned workers to take the next step. It is understood that the Trustees of Air Terminal Services Employees Trust who attended the meeting did not agree to the terms. They demanded that their members return to work without any conditions attached.

He highlighted to workers the outcome of the meeting between ATS, Airports Fiji Limited, Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, Air New Zealand and Fiji Airways that the outsourcing of services provided by ATS was the main issue of discussion.

“I explained to them that if they continued to go down this path it could be disastrous to them,” he said.

“ATS does not have exclusivity for the services they carry out. What if one day one of these companies or airlines realizes that they could actually do the jobs themselves or outsource them and didn’t need ATS? That would mean loss of jobs for the very people who are protesting.”

The board chairman reiterated his stance that the last thing anyone wanted was for the issue to cause problems for Fiji.

“No one wants this. But the fact of the matter is we need to keep our airports open. We need to ensure that the running of this international airport remains smooth,” he said.

The actions by workers were ruled as illegal by the Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj



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