Locked out ATS staff continue to fight on

Locked out ATS staff

NUKU’ALOFA-January 9, 2018: 4.20pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Fiji Air Terminal Services staff who have been locked out by management and the Board continue to sit in solidarity 25 days into the lockout.

Rep Vilikesa Naulumatua today said in a post he made on Facebook that the ATS management and Board, in crafting their strategy, may have assumed that prolonging this charade will give them the upper hand in this predicament, leaving staff with no other option but to sign the document admitting to fault.

He was referring to a letter that the Management and Board had offered to staff to sign and return to work.

ATS workers with Khaiyum trying to convince them to return to work.

ATS workers with Khaiyum trying to convince them to return to work.

Some have taken up the offer and have returned to work but without any of the demands that fellow staff who are being locked out want.

Mr Naulumatua said that the staff who are being locked out are fighting for everyone.

“It must be made clear that this document (and what it is supposed to achieve) has got nothing to do with the wellbeing of the ‘shareholders’ being taken care of,” he said.

“Rather it is more to do with covering the tracks and all the mistakes the board and management have made over 11 years and diverting the attention to all the mistakes of the workers.

“It boggles the mind of any fair-minded individual, the extent these lot would go to, to protect themselves at the expense of the workers.

“If they had any business sense at all, they should realise by now that their decision to lock out workers has caused the company and the economy more than it has to bear in terms of costs and unecessary costs too, I might add.”

Mr Naulumatua blames the stubborness of the management and Board Chairman Riyaz Khaiyum.

“The stubborness of the board and management just reveals, they don’t care, because it is not their money they are spending,” he said.

“It leaves me to ponder that the incompetence shown here can only be met by suing the management and the board for the entire cost of the decision, they made, to lock out workers.

“If the shareholders should decide to recoup all the unnecessary costs incurred, then I would encourage the board and management to evaluate their personal assets pretty soon because this lockout may end at their ‘respective doorsteps’ , figuratively-speaking, of course.”

Mr Naulumatua said the management and Board must understand that there are consequences to what is being done to them.

“Now, I don’t mean this in an infuriating way, but it is important that they understand that in life, there are consequences,” he said.

“However, judging by the spirit that binds everyone in unity at the ‘drain’, this lot can count their lucky stars, the 49% shareholders may decide to show some love and leniency which is something, this board and management have not shown a single iota of. Well, we will leave it to the shareholders to decide this, when we cross that bridge.”


The staff have received support from overseas unions as well plus politicians and church leaders in Fiji.
Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has not visited the locked out staff instead sending his deputy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Minister of Employment Jone Usumate.
Mr Bainimarama said two weeks ago the workers were wrong and what they were doing was illegal.

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