NEWS

Union March In Nadi Is On

The Nadi march in support of the Air Terminal Services workers on Saturday is on. This is after Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho yesterday assured Felix Anthony, the Fiji Trades
08 Jan 2018 11:04
Union March In Nadi Is On

The Nadi march in support of the Air Terminal Services workers on Saturday is on.

This is after Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho yesterday assured Felix Anthony, the Fiji Trades Union Congress general secretary and march organiser that the permit would be issued.

“Be rest assured, he will get his permit,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

He was responding to Mr Anthony saying that he was still waiting for the Police to approve the permit.

“Mr Anthony should not be worried. There are still a few days to go,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

Members of the FTUC, the ATS Employees Trust and Federated Airline Staff Association will march at 10am through Nadi Town.

Mr Anthony said: “We want to show that we are together in this. We have planned to begin the march at 10am and we are just waiting for the permit. I don’t know why it’s taking long.”

He refused to believe that there were workers who will not march nor join the picket line and are only interested in returning to work.

Two workers told the Fiji Sun over the weekend they were afraid to go back to work because they feared intimidation and victimisation from some of those on the picket line. That’s why they did not want to be identified.

A female worker said: “I don’t like confrontation so I have chosen to stay home. I will most probably sign the letter next week and return to work because the livelihood of my family depends on me. Nothing seems to be changing so I think I’ll just remain at home till I resume work again.”

A male worker said: “The PM made the comments that we have to think about our actions and we should return to work. This thing has been dragging on and I need to get my kids back to school.

“Workers who had returned said they felt some pressure from those still on strike, but they just braved it and returned because life has to be lived and bills need to be paid.”

Mr Anthony claimed ATS management was using scare tactics on the workers.

“It is not us the unions, it is the ATS management who are intimidating the workers. They want to return to work without having to sign any letter. We can’t guarantee that this type of protest won’t happen again,” he said.

ATS chief executive officer Hare Mani refuted the claim saying management had been holding talks with workers who expressed the desire to go back to work.

He said the word from the picket line was that there were more wanting to return to work while some were at home.

“We want them to come back to work. We want them to sign the letter and then come,” Mr Mani said.

“We now have 28 people back at work. And there are indications that there are more who want to return to work.

“It’s only right because school is about to start and many of them will have children returning to school.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa



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