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ATS confirms sex claims

Kalesi Mele
Monday, January 08, 2018

POLICE have confirmed receiving two alleged sexual harassment complaints against two senior Air Terminal Services staff, and the ATS management has also established that one of the "accused" was still at work.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said one of the incidents involved a female security guard, and the second alleged case of sexual assault of an intern was by a supervisor in the catering services department.

In a statement issued yesterday, ATS said the two incidents occurred in October and November last year.

The ATS statement said the incident that occurred in October was brought to their attention on December 1.

It said for both incidents, the accused employees were stood down while investigations continued.

"Standing an employee down for such a serious matter is a normal practice," the statement read.

"This process involves the employee being notified and then being denied access to ATS premises for the duration of the suspension.

"Various parties being advised including the department which controls and oversees security to ensure that the staff member may not enter during the course of the investigation, except where the appropriate approval is sought."

ATS said police investigations into the case on November 7 resulted in the matter being forwarded to the crime office for the next course of actions.

With no charges being laid, the alleged staff returned to work, the ATS statement said.

"With the internal investigation complete, but no charges laid, the alleged staff members returned to work on 18 November and are now based in a different work location within the same department."

The second accused employee was stood down on December 8.

ATS said internal investigations had been conducted with the 19 employee statements that were collected.

The ATS statement said members of the union were aware of the issue but had only raised their concerns on December 11.

Federated Airline Staff Association national secretary Vilikesa Finau said the issue was not on the reporting date but the fact that the perpetrator was still at work.

He claimed the accused in the case of the intern was never stood down but was on annual leave.

More than 200 ATS workers had walked off their jobs 24 days ago and one of their grievances was the inaction of management on sexual harassment cases.

Investigations into both cases continue.

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