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ACTU joins the fray

Mere Naleba
Friday, January 12, 2018

THE plight of the Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd workers who claim they are being locked out of their workplace has now attracted the attention of international trade unions.

The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Ged Kearney, wrote a letter to Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday urging her to use "Australia's considerable influence" to encourage swift and satisfactory resolution on the issue.

Ms Kearney said in a statement that the Australian union movement stood in solidarity with the Fijian workers.

"We are calling on the minister to act to protect workers in Fiji as well as Australian travellers who rely on their expertise to ensure a safe flight," Ms Kearney said.

Ms Kearney said these employees owned 49 per cent of the company they worked for and yet were allegedly locked out for criticising management decisions.

She said Australians could understand too well how unacceptable the situation was considering that workers had not received a pay increase for the past 11 years.

"Australians can understand only too well how unacceptable that situation is and the need for strong support and protection for workers' rights," she said.

Fiji Labour Minister Jone Usamate yesterday said he would not comment until he reads the statement issued by ACTU.

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