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Major politicians to miss FTUC march

January 11, 2018 5:23 pm

Preparations are afoot to gather the maximum number of protesters in support of the planned ATS march this Saturday in Nadi.

The march organised by the Fiji Trades Union Congress was given the green light by the police on Wednesday.

However, it seems that many political heavyweights that lent their full support to the striking ATS staff may be making a hasty retreat into the shadows before the planned Saturday march.

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Sodelpa leader Sitiveni Rabuka has confirmed he will be there in spirit and cannot attend as he will be attending a funeral.

NFP leader Biman Prasad is in India attending the PIO Parliamentary Conference with the other two NFP Members of Parliament, while Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has not been seen or heard of since the early days of the strike when he called for the removal of the board and management in support of the illegal strike.

Meanwhile, FTUC General Secretary Felix Anthony says they’re not only expecting union members but a lot of support across the society including just about every organization that believes in justice, human rights and workers’ rights.

Anthony adds they’re expecting all these organizations to be part of the march as well.

“Workers’ rights and shareholders rights must be respected. These workers are simply not just employees of ATS, they’re also shareholders and the sooner this management understands that I believe it would be better for ATS as a company.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho last night met with his officers in Nadi where he was briefed about the approach that will be taken during Saturday’s march.

“We don’t expect any breach of law but we have to plan for any worse case scenario and I have resources that I can deploy to deal with the issues that might arise but the responsibility rests with Mr. Felix Anthony so if anything goes wrong with that then we will hold him accountable.”

Qiliho says he’s happy with the concept of operations he was briefed with by his officers.

The Police Chief says a team from Suva’s Police Special Response unit will also be deployed to ensure the march is incident free.

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