Bishop must act on Fijian airport lockout

Bishop must act on Fijian airport lockout

ACTU President Ged Kearney has written to the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urging the Minister to use Australia’s considerable influence in the region to encourage a swift and satisfactory resolution of an ongoing dispute which has resulted in staff at Air Terminal Services in Fiji being locked out.

These staff perform vital tasks at Fijian airports including engineering, catering, baggage handling and check in, which are relied upon by millions of tourists including many Australians.

The actions of ATS are in violation of Fijian workers’ rights, and pose a safety risk to Australian travellers.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“We are calling on the Minister to act to protect workers in Fiji as well as Australian travellers who rely on their expertise to ensure a safe flight.”

“These employees own 49% of the company they work for, and yet are locked out for criticising management decisions – it’s a basic violation of their rights.”

“These workers have not received a pay rise in 11 years, Australians can understand only too well how unacceptable that situation is, and the need for strong support and protection for workers’ rights when employers are abusing their power.”

“The Australian union movement stands in solidarity with the workers in Fiji, and will do everything in our power to ensure that this gross mistreatment ends.”