24 Jul 2002

Fiji's national airline faces strike action

10:32 am on 24 July 2002

Members of the Fiji Aviation Workers association have taken strike action against the national airline, Air Pacific.

Attar Singh, the association's secretary, says 90 to 95 percent of its 400 members, including engineering staff and cabin crew, decided to go on strike because discussions with the airline had stalled.

The dispute was referred to a government arbitrator but Mr Singh says both Air Pacific and the union voiced concern over this while the two sides were still negotiating.

Mr Singh says it's the first time the union has taken strike action in ten years.

"We had been wanting to reach a settlement with Air Pacific over our issues Air Pacific. In our view, the negotiations whilst we were there in good faith attending the negotiations actually tried to conclude a settlement, Air Pacific seemed to behave in manner that they weer not interested in a settlement and ther was a demonstration of bad faith on their part and it is this that angered the people."

Mr Singh says issues include settlement of redundancy pay, paycuts for cabin crew and loss of other benefits over the years.