Fiji Time: 6:41 AM on Wednesday 17 January

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NZ rally for ATS workers

Mere Naleba
Saturday, January 13, 2018

THE New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) held a rally outside the Fiji High Commission office in Wellington yesterday.

NZCTU general secretary Sam Huggard said about 50 people protested in support for the 170 Air Terminal Services workers picketing outside their place of employment.

Mr Huggard said a letter was delivered to Fiji's High Commissioner to New Zealand, Filimoni Waqabaca, requesting that the letter be urgently communicated to the Fijian Government.

"Tourism is a major enterprise in Fiji, and for the industry to be successful it must create decent jobs where workers are well supported and respected. The sooner ATS appreciates this, the better," Mr Huggard said.

He claimed safety standards are at significant risk because the replacement workforce was hopelessly stretched, saying travellers will be thinking twice about visiting Fiji.

He said NZCTU members were dismayed and angered to hear how the workers were treated after attending a shareholders meeting on December 16, last year.

Mr Huggard said the rally was attended by members of several Wellington unions and their supporters, and representatives of the Fijian community groups in Wellington.

"We took action today to let the workers know that the New Zealand union movement is fully behind them," he said.

Minister for Labour Jone Usamate said he was not aware of the protest and did not wish to make any comment.

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