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Akuri: I thank God for being there

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, January 04, 2018

"I THANK God for being there for my family and my children."

These were the words of mother-of-six, Kula Akuri, an employee of Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd who with other workers has been involved in an impasse with the company for the past 19 days.

"His love for my family is keeping us afloat," she said.

"Even though I have not been able to work, my family and I have been receiving His blessings through our relatives and our friends.

"Without the God that we serve, I think we wouldn't be able to make ends meet.

"He has been using my family members who know our struggle and who know that this will be a long and difficult journey for us."

Ms Akuri said most of her colleagues, who had been sitting outside the ATS compound, were facing similar financial difficulties.

"We are all going through the same thing, but I am grateful that we are going through this together.

"We know that what we are fighting for will be worth it in the end."

She said when she began work in 1999, she had started with a rate of less than $3.50.

"Working for more than 18 years in various departments, I've only managed to get over $5 an hour.

"I've worked as a passenger assistant agent and a catering assistant.

"According to the knowledge of the job, we can be put in relieving positions. I relieve posts such as tele-typist and a document officer who normally collects documents for cargo and clears the cargo."

Ms Akuri said there was a difference between workers under the master agreement and those under the permanent part-time (PPT) agreement with ATS.

"As a PPT, we work 40 to 60 hours fortnightly, but for those under the master agreement, they work for 80 hours for the same period," she claimed.

"They also get acknowledged for their long service and they are given their long service pay. As for us we don't get those incentives.

"I have been working with this company for 19 years and giving them the same dedication as those under the master agreement.

"I don't understand why I have to work under different working conditions when we have been doing the same work."

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