30 Jul 2002

Air Pacific accused of union busting

5:37 pm on 30 July 2002

The Fiji Aviation Workers Association has accused the management of the national airline, Air Pacific, of union busting.

The accusation comes as a strike by association members at the airline has entered its ninth day.

Radio FM-96 quotes the Association's general secretary Attar Singh as saying Air Pacific has given half of its services, amounting to 4, 500 seats a week, to Qantas to operate, which is preying on the Fiji economy.

Mr Singh says these are no longer charter flights but Qantas flights with all income and all revenue going to the Australian airline.

But Air Pacific's chief executive, John Campbell, who is a former senior Qantas official, says they have to continue servicing flights to ensure that tourists from Australia keep coming to Fiji.

Meanwhile, Fiji's permanent arbitrator, John Semisi, has ordered executives of Air Pacific and the Association to appear before him this afternoon.

This follows the failure of both parties to resolve issues in dispute.