28 Jun 2002

More industrial action at Fiji's Nadi airport

10:47 am on 28 June 2002

Employees of another key company at Fiji's Nadi International Airport have unanimously agreed to strike action.

Members of the Federated Airline Staff Association employed by Air Terminal Services have agreed to industrial action to protest the appointment of an activist of the ruling SDL party, Mere Samisoni as company chairperson.

Radio Fiji quotes the association's president, Jone Raqona, as saying the civil aviation minister, Konisi Yabaki has ignored professional advice and decided that political affiliation should precede commercial requirements

Mr Raqona says they are not anti-government but they strongly oppose the minister's actions.

The union is also objecting to the minister's sacking of three ATS board members to make way for Mrs Samisoni and the former general secretary of the SDL party, Jale Baba.

Air Terminal Services is 51 per cent owned by the state through the Civil Aviation Authority and 49 per cent by its employees trust.

Earlier this week, sacked board member, Karl Smith, publicly questioned the minister's authority to interfere in the affairs of the company.