Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Step in the right direction: FTUC

The Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka who said that hundreds of workers of Fiji Airways and Air Terminal Services workers who were terminated would soon be re-employed.

In an interview, National Secretary Felix Anthony said that FTUC has been asking the previous Government to address the concerns of workers who were unfairly terminated without due process.

“They ought to be reinstated. The previous Government decided not to act on it and now the People’s Coalition Government has decided that the workers ought to go back, and we are looking forward to that,” he said.

Anthony also highlighted said that both Air Terminal Services and Fiji Airways took advantage of the pandemic and terminated workers.

He said they both got rid of the union and collective bargaining.

“FTUC is pleased that this Government is taking the right action to try and correct the mess that Air Terminal Services (ATS) and Fiji Airways (FA) created.”

Last month, Minister Responsible for Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka outlined Government’s intention that it wants everyone terminated to be brought back, and that Government is workings towards this process.

“I had meetings today with ATS – both the management and the workers’ representation – they will be resolving that issue.

“The message is very clear that we want everybody to go back to work.

“That is from the highest level of the coalition Government, and I articulate that as it being part of my ministry.”

The Minister said the ministry was focused on getting about 400 former ATS employees back on the job, while more than 750 Fiji Airways staff were terminated at the start of the pandemic, with the managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen saying at the time it was necessary for the airline’s survival.

The airline has not reinstated former staff and instead has been on an ongoing recruitment drive over the past few years.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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