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FTUC condemns Fiji Airways decision to terminate staff

May 25, 2020 6:16 pm
The Fiji Trade Union Congress has condemned the decision of Fiji Airways to terminate 758 employees today. [File Photo]

The Fiji Trade Union Congress has condemned the decision of Fiji Airways to terminate 758 employees today.

In a statement, National Secretary Felix Anthony says these terminations have come without notice nor does it appear that there were sufficient consultations or negotiations with the union.

Anthony says this is a demonstration of how insensitive the Management is in dealing with such sensitive issues and that a major concern is that the employees were given 48 hours to return all company property.

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He claims that some Fiji Airways staff were escorted out of the premises by security personnel after being told of their termination.

According to Anthony, if Fiji Airways was in financial strife because of the pandemic, it ought to have consulted the union in accordance with the Employment Relations Act and entered into consultations with the union and entered into an agreement prior to serving termination letters.

He says the Collective Agreement between Fiji Airways and the Union requires Fiji Airways to give 60 days’ notice of intended redundancy and to explore all possibilities to avert redundancy.

Anthony says if this is not possible then Fiji Airways has the obligation to pay one months’ salary to workers with less than 1 year of service, for workers with more than a years’ service, they are entitled to be paid 3 months base salary plus 2 weeks’ pay for every year of service.

He adds the FTUC calls upon the Government to intervene and stop such unfair, inhumane and unjust behavior of Fiji Airways Management and respect workers’ rights and the laws.

However, Fiji Airways responded with a statement, they say the difficult decision was made after all other avenues were exhausted in order to ensure the company’s survival and that all laws were adhered to during the termination process.

Fiji Airways states that the employees have been regularly updated on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company and the need for drastic actions if situations did not improve.

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