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ATS issues under scrutiny

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, November 06, 2017

AIR Terminal Services Fiji Ltd workers are prepared to go on strike.

Federated Airline Services Association general secretary Vilikesa Naulumatua said despite the fact that discussions had been continuing with ATS management, there did not appear to be any concrete commitments to address the issues that led to more than 360 out of the 588 opting for strike action.

"We want the people of Fiji to understand that the reason we are talking industrial action and are prepared to go on strike is because we have spent the past 10 years trying to address the issues that are before us," he said.

"This is not something new. We have tried talking to the company for 10 years and have gotten nowhere and instead of listening to us and taking decisive action, ATS management has continued to stall while working in the background to prevent us from taking strike action."

Mr Naulumatua added that among the issues the workers wanted resolved was the reinstatement of workers representatives on the ATS board.

ATS is unique in the sense that the workers have a 49 per cent stake in the company.

The FASA general secretary added that workers have also called for a resolution to their request for cost of living wage adjustments for the past decade.

ATS chief executive officer Hare Mani has maintained that the discussions between the union and management were small, but important steps towards addressing the issues and concerns of the workers.

Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate has called on both parties to commit to dialogue and to resolve their issues through discussion.

He has also said the secret ballot conducted by FASA was unlawful and any strike action emanating from it would be deemed illegal.

Mr Naulumatua said as far as the union was concerned, they had followed the legal requirements to take industrial action.

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