NEWS

Outrage: ATS Chair Labels Boycott Calls ‘Irresponsible’, ‘ Would Harm Fiji’s Tourism’

The lives of ordinary Fijian workers will be hurt from statements being made by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), says Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. The Air Terminal Services board chairman said
23 Dec 2017 12:58
Outrage: ATS Chair Labels Boycott Calls ‘Irresponsible’, ‘ Would Harm Fiji’s Tourism’

The lives of ordinary Fijian workers will be hurt from statements being made by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), says Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Air Terminal Services board chairman said the federation’s call for people to boycott coming to Fiji was thoughtless and would harm the ordinary Fijian whose livelihood depended on sectors like the tourism industry.

He also termed comments by the federation’s president Paddy Crumlin as irresponsible and harming.

“I suspect that the federation does not know or has not been told of all the details that led to this situation for the workers and how they walked off their jobs without any notice given,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

It is understood that the ATS management was not given a seven-day notice as per the requirement stipulated in the agreement before any walk-out or stop-work protest can take place.

Federation statement

The federation, in a statement said Government needed to step in now and resolve the issues.

“The ITF, on behalf of our affiliate FASA and their members at ATS, will be working hard for a solution. We call on the Fijian Government to step in and resolve this dispute, end the lock-out, allow these workers to return to work, and ensure that this dispute doesn’t disrupt the travel plans of thousands of visitors to Fiji over the Christmas holiday period.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, however refuted claims by Mr Crumlin that since the strike, passengers have lost luggage at Nadi International Airport.

“We have handled the situation at the Nadi (International) Airport well so far with the assistance of all stakeholders and loyal workers of ATS, who did not abandon their posts. Contrary to Mr Crumlin’s assumption no one coming to Fiji is losing their baggage.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said statements such as the one made by the federation would more than hurt the lives of ordinary Fijians.

“I think it’s very irresponsible of the federation to make such statements that suggest problems for visitors travelling to Fiji,” he said.

“His statement will hurt Fiji and ordinary Fijian workers in the tourism industry leading to possible loss of jobs when visitor numbers reduce because of his irresponsible statement.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper