Talks to carry on

NEGOTIATIONS on salaries and improving working conditions will continue between members of the Federated Airlines Staff Association (FASA) and Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd, says FASA national secretary Vilikesa Naulumatua.

Mr Naulumatua said while the workers were happy to be back at work, FASA members still had demands that needed to be addressed.

“We have seen that the order by the tribunal has been executed by the company and we don’t know if they will appeal the decision, but judging by their statement in the media, we take it that they will abide by the court decision,” he said.

“We will continue talks with the company to iron out our differences as per the ambit of the ATS-FASA agreement.

“There are still a lot of issues that will need to be discussed and we will be progressing with those talks once we are inside.

“Right now the first phase of our return is to go into work and see our rosters and find out who’s working on which days and we need to clean up our lockout site and carry on with the work that is there for us.” More than 200 ATS workers returned to work yesterday and were issued with new identification cards and rosters.

“We had spoken to our HR people and they are facilitating the return to work process and we are helping them with that process,” said Mr Naulumatua.

“A lot of the workers are very happy and they are overwhelmed with the results and they are looking forward to returning to work.

“Again we wanted to thank the Employment Relations Tribunal for the ruling that they have done and we also thank the company for executing the court order.”

In a statement, ATS reiterated its January 20 assurance that the company would implement the order of the Employment Relations Tribunal.

“ATS notes, without prejudice, that the decision from the tribunal does not prevent any disciplinary measures from being taken against the workers for abandoning their positions and engaging in an unlawful walkout,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, ATS is seeking legal advice on certain aspects of the tribunal’s decision to consider additional legal steps.

“ATS is implementing the decision from the tribunal for the employees who have been stood down or suspended from duties and is allowing them to return to work. Copies of the respective rosters have been sent to the Federated Airlines Staff Association and circulated as per agreed internal procedures.

“The validity of the existing security access ID cards have been extended to January 31, 2018.

“Recent photos are required before the issuance of the new security access ID cards. Employees may return to work from 12 noon Monday, January 22, have their photo taken and collect their current ID card, if it had been removed.

“ATS remains concerned about security and will also be enhancing security measures to prevent any further economic sabotage from taking place in the workplace to ensure there are no serious disruptions to ATS services and threats which would have adverse impact on the Fijian economy.”

The company also commended all employees who remained in their posts since December 16, 2017.

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