NEWS

Usamate Looks At Independent Mediation For ATS Dispute

The Minister of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, says he  is looking at options to have an independent mediator for the Air Terminal Services dispute. Mr Usamate talked
10 Jan 2018 11:24
Usamate Looks At Independent Mediation For ATS Dispute
From left: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure & Transport Vijay Nath and Minister for Employment, Productivity & Industrial Relations Jone Usamate, talking to residents of Vunarewa on January 9, 2017. Photo: Lusiana Banuve

The Minister of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, says he  is looking at options to have an independent mediator for the Air Terminal Services dispute.

Mr Usamate talked about the option after no sign of resolution of the ATS workers strike.

“There have been some calls for an independent mediation and my staff are looking at that now,” he said.

He said with an independent mediator there would be costs.

“When you get someone to come and mediate on an independent basis that will mean some costs will be attached but when my ministry and I are involved we absorb all the costs,” he said.

“My ministry has been in touch with the management to raise this issue with them. Whether they would like to have independent mediators, whoever they are.”

ATS chief executive officer Hare Mani earlier said they were awaiting further direction from the ministry as to what the next plan of action would be.

The strike enters its 25th day today although more than 30 people have since returned to work.

Meanwhile, The Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation stands ready to offer mediation services or other assistance required to resolve the Air Terminal Services impasse.

Federation chief executive officer Nesbit Hazelman said they had always upheld the principle of non-interference to the internal affairs of businesses and the board and CEO’s offer to assist upon request from the ATS Board and management.

“Like most professional bodies, FCEF is concerned about the stand-off and is closely monitoring the situation between ATS and its employees through its industrial relations consultant who is working on the ground,” Mr Hazelman said.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the Union Wellington is organising a protest outside the Fiji High Commission in Wellington on Friday.  Edited by Naisa Koroi

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  lusianan.banuve@fijisun.com.fj



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