28 May 2002

Fiji CE says no need to appeal to overseas unions

5:05 pm on 28 May 2002

The chief executive of Airports Fiji Limited says he doesn't know why trade unionists asked overseas unions to intervene in a dispute while they're still in negotiations.

Australian unions have agreed to impose sanctions on sea and air links to Fiji because AFL hasn't recognised the right of the Fiji Public Servants Association to represent AFL workers.

Mr Koroitamana says, however, that a cabinet sub-committee is still holding talks with both sides and AFL is willing to recognise the FPSA.

"We've already agreed with the government to sign the option that was given to us ...for we want recognition ...we have sought clarification and have been told if we both sign it can be taken to be within the provisions of the law and we are prepared to do that but unfortunately they are not prepared to sign.."

Mr Koroitamana says if the union is not willing to sign the voluntary recognition agreement then AFL will consider taking the matter to court.

He says 64 percent of the AFL staff have signed individual contracts and joined the in-house union.

Mr Koroitamana also says he was not serious when he suggested locking trade unionists up for appealing to overseas unions.