NATION

No Resolution Has Been Reached: Ministry

If the matter remains unresolved, a formal conflict resolution mechanism is available, as established by the ERA 2007. There is still no resolution to the impasse between the Air Terminal
04 Jan 2018 10:00
No Resolution Has Been Reached: Ministry
Union leaders Felix Anthony (front with white long sleeve shirt) and Daniel Urai (second on left with short sleeve white shirt) with some striking Air Terminal Services workers. Photo: Charles Chambers

If the matter remains unresolved, a formal conflict resolution mechanism is available, as established by the ERA 2007.

There is still no resolution to the impasse between the Air Terminal Services company and some workers who belong the Air Terminal Services Employees Trust (ATSET) and Federated Airline Staff Association (FASA).

In an interview yesterday, the Minister for Employment, Labour and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, said no resolution was reached despite two weeks of mediation facilitated by staff members from the ministry.

“No resolution has been reached and the workers are still suspended. Nothing else can be done until we look at other options,” he said.

ATS Board chairman Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said they would now await a decision from the ministry.

“It’s sad because people are still out there sitting and protesting. They’re still suspended and this will look like it’s going to drag on,” he said.

Air Terminal Services provides ground handling for international airlines at Nadi International Airport.

An earlier statement from the ministry stated that all possible measures in the first part of mediation had been taken.

“Despite exhaustive efforts by the Ministry of Employment to mediate the dispute between Air Terminal Services (ATS) and the ATS employees who participated in an unlawful strike, no resolution has been reached.

“As a result, the Ministry must defer to the decision of ATS management to suspend the employees,” the minister said.

“The walk-off of some ATS employees was declared as an unlawful strike on 16 December in accordance with the Employment Relations Act (ERA) 2007.

Ample opportunity has been provided to resolve grievances and discuss a positive way forward between ATS and the Federated Airlines Staff Association.

However, after two weeks of informal mediation, no resolution has been accepted by the parties. The statement said the next possible step would be a formal conflict resolution under the ERA 2007.

“As an employer, ATS management instituted internal disciplinary measures by suspending ATS employees who participated in the unlawful strike.

“Given the non-resolution, the ATS employees who walked off their jobs will remain suspended. If the matter remains unresolved, a formal conflict resolution mechanism is available, as established by the ERA 2007,” Mr Usamate said.

“In the interest of resolving outstanding issues as quickly and effectively as possible, the Minister for Employment has encouraged ATS management and the Federated Airlines Staff to engage in good faith within established conflict resolution frameworks, as set out in the ERA 2007.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

 



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