Letters

Letters To The Editor, 14th January 2018

Striking ATS workers march Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi The march in Nadi reflects unsound labour-management relations, I am glad freedom of association and assembly is not restrained. I hope there will
14 Jan 2018 14:00
Letters To The Editor, 14th January  2018

Striking ATS workers march

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

The march in Nadi reflects unsound labour-management relations, I am glad freedom of association and assembly is not restrained. I hope there will be a lot of views exchanged in mediation with the view of solving the problem.

New bridges

Shariff Shah, Savusavu

Congratulations and a big vinaka vakalevu to our best Prime Minister, best Attorney-General and to our Government as a whole, for the two new bridges, one in Vatuwaqa and another on Stinson Parade.

It is a relief for the public and those that opposed it during the construction phase.

I am wondering as to when the so-called “opposition” will praise our good government on this one before they cruise through these bridges.

Spill venom they do but still enjoy the goodies given on the plate by this good Government.

People – our people, our great country, please bury the past.  Hand in hand and we will reach greater heights.

Time is still on our side but don’t wait for long.

Tide and time waits for no man. Grab the opportunity with both hands.

ATS surprise

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

For us watching the ATS saga from the sidelines, the revelation by our Prime Minister that $5.78 million was paid out to Air Terminal Services Employees Trust (ATSET) as dividends for the years 2007 to 2015 is a big surprise. (FS 10/1)

The receipt for over $320,000 being dividend for 2007 paid out on August 20, 2008 has been shown for all to see.

This revelation kind of puts a dent on the claims by the ATS staff on strike that they were not paid any dividends in the above-mentioned years and unpaid cost of living adjustment (COLA).

We spectators would like to know if ATS staff who hold 49 per cent of the shares are also eligible for COLA and other adjustments, on top of their yearly dividends?

What does their partnership/share agreement say?

I do not believe that the ATS management will continue with their alleged plan to sell off the 49 per cent shares to another entity.

Therefore, just check out where the $5.78 million went to and what their signed agreement says about receiving COLA and other monetary claims the ATS staff on strike are claiming.

ATS saga and ILO convention ’98

Susana Tuisawau, Suva

The case regarding some ATS workers who are still on strike is to me a very clear one that could have been immediately solved by the Permanent Secretary for Labour in the first place.

The reason being is that in my view, it is at times like this when a standoff takes place at the workplace between an employer and a workers union that the ministry should quickly refer to all labour laws that govern workers and employers.

My reading of the situation is that this was a clear violation of workers’ rights under ILO Convention 98, which the Fiji Government had ratified.                              

Article1:1 of the Convention stipulates that “Workers shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment” .

Article 1:2 (b) clarifies this by stating that “Such protection shall apply more particularly in respect  to acts calculated to “cause the dismissal of or otherwise prejudice a worker by reason of union membership or because of participation in union activities outside of working hours or with the consent of the employers, within working hours”.

Now, in this case the ATS workers have been approved shareholders by their employers or their authority.

Hence, to me, attending the ATS shareholders’ meeting is supposed to be a given authorised activity for the workers.

This should have been pointed out to the ATS employers and all would have been resolved.

Article 2 of the Convention further elaborates that “… workers and employment organisations shall enjoy protection against interferences by each other or each other’s agents or members in their establishment, functioning or administration.”

Hence, the attendance by workers of this meeting was I believe one in which the workers were exercising their right and hence was a legitimate everyday union activity.

The Prime Minister had said to keep within the law.

I believe that the employers should be asked to respect the Labour Convention, which the Fijian Government had ratified, that is the law.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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