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Some Air Traffic Controllers Return To Work

Fiji Airports is requesting and urging other controllers to return to work and discuss any issues they may have, as we have done so on numerous occasions in the past through dialogue and resolu­tion.
26 Mar 2019 18:26
Some Air Traffic Controllers Return To Work

Some Fiji Airports air traffic control­lers have returned to work after the action they took last week was de­clared as an unlawful strike.

The Minister for Employment, Indus­trial Relations and Productivity, Parveen Bala declared the air traffic controllers ac­tions as unlawful last Wednesday.

In response to queries, Fiji Airports said last evening that some air traffic control­lers had returned to work since the decla­ration by the minister.

“Fiji Airports is requesting and urging other controllers to return to work and discuss any issues they may have, as we have done so on numerous occasions in the past through dialogue and resolu­tion,” said Fiji Airports communications and public relations manager, Christo­pher Chand.

Asked if there was any disruption to flights since the impasse started last week Monday, he said all international and domestic flights have been operating on schedule.

“However, pilot training flights and sky­diving activities have been completely restricted to reduce the traffic in the skies and on the runways,” said Mr Chand.

Between 30 and 35 air traffic controllers were not reporting to work from last Mon­day because their claim have not been re­solved.

Although they are members of the Fiji Public Service Association, it is under­stood that they were holding talks with the company themselves.

FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Sin­gh was also served with a letter last week from the Ministry of Employment, Indus­trial Relations and Productivity declaring the strike unlawful.

It is understood that the air traffic con­trollers are demanding for a salary in­crease and for other operational matters to be addressed.

But Fiji Airports said the air traffic con­trollers had received increased pay and were working fewer hours.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji said last week that it is closely monitoring the situation to ensure safety is maintained at all times.

“Contingency Procedures that have been developed for such situations have been activated to ensure the safety of the travelling public is not compromised under the current Fiji Airports staffing circumstances,”its statement said.

Feedback: avinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

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