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FTUC says national strike in Fiji if no resolution to ATS issue found

Locked out ATS staff

NADI, Fiji – January 16, 2018: 4.40pm (FIJI TIMES): The Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) says it is prepared to hold a national strike if the Air Terminal Services (ATS) issue is not resolved soon.

Speaking to thousands of people at a rally held at Nadi District School grounds on Saturday after a march through Nadi Town, national secretary Felix Anthony said the onus was on Government to take immediate steps to end the impasse which has entered the 28th day.

“If we don’t see a resolution, as I have said before, we are going to seriously consider further action,” he said.

“We have applied for another march in Suva on February 24.

“We are going to go to the Capital and show them that the crowd’s going to be bigger.

“And we will be asking all our unions to start thinking about a national strike.

“Let’s shut this country down if we have to.

“Today (yesterday) we just shut down Nadi Town and we are going to shut down bigger things if we don’t get a resolution to this.

“We are prepared to go as long as it takes us.”

Air Terminal Services Fiji Ltd board chairperson Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has hit out at trade unionists who participated in the Nadi march and rally, calling them “B-grade and dramatic”.

“It’s very alarming that the barrage of sanctimonious speeches by old school, table-thumping, dramatic, B-grade acting, screaming unionists at the march yesterday (on Saturday) called for virtues such as honesty and upholding of the law,” he said.

“This is simply and exactly what ATS has been saying from the start.

“Uphold the law and be honest about what happened.

“Unfortunately though, the unions and politicians won’t let the innocent workers say they were misled. Because to do this would mean them losing the political traction they have manipulated out of this issue, said Sayed-Khaiyum.

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