12 Mar 2004

Employees of Telecom Fiji may strike over hiring of ex-pats

9:42 am on 12 March 2004

Industrial action by angry employees is reported to be imminent at the monopoly telecommunications company, Telecom Fiji.

Radio Fiji says the employees will take strike action if the company's managing director, Winston Thompson, and its New Zealand chief operating officer, Norman Nicholls, don't step down amid investigations against them.

The Fiji Post and Telecommunications Employees Association says its members are not happy with the hiring of consultants and expatriates when there are suitable candidates within the company to fill senior management positions.

The association also alleges that the two top executives are not following proper procedures in the tender and purchase decisions of the company.

The Association's general secretary, Attar Singh, says they are also objecting to a decision that a committee of the board investigate the two executives when this should be done by an independent body.

As well, the union is angry at being denied access to a consultant's report on the restructure plans of the company that reportedly recommends widespread redundancies.

Mr Singh and union executives are holding consultations with over 1200 members around the country before taking the strike decision on Monday.