Outcome of the Fiji Trades Union Congress Emergency Meeting on Saturday 30th December, 2017 at Capricorn International Hotel, Nadi
The FTUC Councillors met and resolved as follows:
RESOLUTION ON AIR TERMINAL SERVICES (ATS) LOCKOUT DISPUTE FROM 16TH DECEMBER, 2017
RECALLS: That ATS (Fiji) Limited was formed with the initiative of ATS staff of the company who were members of the Federated Airline Staff Association (FASA) and under the umbrella of the Air Terminal Services Employees’ Trust in 1981 at Nadi Airport.
SUPPORTS: The principles of industrial democracy and worker participation in the decision-making process and equity holding within enterprises as was practiced at ATS and which were at one time the hall marks of peace, harmony and stability for workers.
NOTES: With shock and utter dismay the reports of financial mismanagement within the company and serious concerns raised by the Employees’ Trust who are 49% shareholders and who have been penalized by the recent lockout for holding an emergency shareholders meeting and for questioning the accountability and transparency in the management of its assets and resources.
CONDEMNS: The actions of the Chairman of the ATS Board and its Acting CEO with the overt support of the government for locking out members of FASA and ATSET on 16th December, 2017 who attended the Employees’ Trust meeting. We call for the immediate sacking of the two perpetrators so that workers can return to their jobs. The delay in settlement is due to the arrogance of ATS Chairman Riyaz Khaiyum who is blocking progress to any speedy solution, since he is the one bent on seeking apologies from the FASA members so that he is able to bask in his inflated ego.
CALLS ON: The ATS Board Chairman and the government appointed Board of Directors, and the Minister for Public Enterprises, as the line Minister in this case, who is also the brother of the Board Chairman Riyaz Khaiyum relating to their fiduciary duties and responsibilities under the relevant legislations and calls on each of them to wake up from their deep slumber and to resolve the injustices perpetrated against the FASA members, rather than blindly pre-occupying themselves with massaging the giant size ego of the ATS Chairman.
EXHORTS: The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to resign from his portfolio immediately for failing to apply fairly and without bias relevant rules, procedures, regulations truthfully under the ERA and as a result of this FASA members are without job for the past fifteen days during this festive season. This is the Minister who declares the Lockout as illegal strike and then calls on his mediation service staff to mediate in his own created mess and purports to find a solution to the dispute. Either the Minister has a total lack of knowledge on ERA or he has been directed to weaken FASA as a Union and ATSET members as 49% shareholders so that ATS Chairman and his cohorts are able to sell the workers share for profiteering by a private company who has been eying for a lucrative enterprise in order to add to their growing portfolios.
EXPRESSES: Its profound anger and apprehension that ATS Chairman and the Acting CEO have resorted to union busting tactics to cover up their inefficiency, indifference, biased practices and continued to look away from the sheer lethargy of the Management, as such the financial mismanagement, industrial disharmony, discord and denial of rights and dignity of workers resulting in chaos since Riyaz Khaiyum was appointed as the Chairman of ATS by his Minister brother.
REITERATES: That workers have rights to work with dignity, justice and without any fear or oppression which is enshrined in the 2013 Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98.
REMINDS: The regulatory authorities such as CAAF and AFL to investigate the breaches of safety standards which has been happening on a daily basis from 16th December 2017. CAAF as a regulator has not only turned a blind eye to the safety breaches but has covertly supported the ATS management to prolong the lockout. Since the AFL security staff and others have been deployed to assist in baggage handling which has left the Airside unattended that allowed the members of the public to roam around the restricted areas of Nadi Airport. Photographs are available for those interested to see the evidence.
WARNS: The Minster for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to refrain from siding and supporting the ATS Board Chairman for his own political survival as the FTUC along with its affiliates will take all necessary action at any cost to defend and protect the rights of FASA members.
SOLIDARITY: That FTUC will continue to support FASA as its affiliate, and to be the voice of the workers and will seek assistance through international ties and;
- Take all legitimate steps, use all resources, including industrial action and solidarity support including a National Strike, should the impasse continue and a protest March on Saturday 13th of January, 2018 in support of workers locked out.
- Pledge full support to fight injustice inflicted on FASA members.
- Seek the assistance of Global Union Federations and international solidarity organizations.
NOTING WITH FURTHER CONCERN
CONDEMNING: The government for its continued anti-labour stance in its support to further deprive workers of their rights and it must now immediately order the ATS management to desist from recruiting temporary staff as it is in total breach of the ATS/FASA Master Collective Agreement.
REQUESTS: The relevant Government Ministers in charge to deal swiftly, with the plight of FASA members so that they can immediately return to work with dignity and punish those responsible for creating the total mismanagement of assets and resources and also to those engaged in behind the scenes activities to illegally sell the workers 49% shareholding.
LOOKS FORWARD: To continued success and progress of ATS (Fiji) Ltd so that its employees’ who are also shareholders serve the company, the nation and the vast travelling public with the same vigour and dedication as performed in the past, and be an exemplary model and motivation for other workers.