29 Dec 2017

Union leader has safety concerns at Fiji's main airport

8:52 am on 29 December 2017

A union leader in Fiji fears the ongoing industrial dispute at Nadi's international airport will lead to a serious accident.

Nadi International Airport, Fiji

Nadi International Airport, Fiji Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

The National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Felix Anthony, said the ongoing impasse means 250 catering, baggage handling and engineering workers are not able to perform their duties.

He said their employer Air Terminal Services had locked them out of work for attending a shareholders meeting on 16 December.

The company's chief executive Hare Mani said the meeting amounted to illegal strike action and the workers were suspended immediately.

The company said "temporary" staff have been filling the void.

However there are reports airport security guards and other personnel are now covering these roles as additional duties.

Felix Anthony said he had serious concerns about security violations at the airport as a result.

Felix Anthony

Felix Anthony Photo: RNZ

"These have been pointed out to the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji who is responsible for this and they have turned a blind eye. So we're very concerned about this and what we're worried [about] is that this is an accident that is waiting to happen one day, at Nadi airport, if this situation continues."

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