24 Jul 2002

Fiji's Air Pacific in negotiations to end strike

5:44 pm on 24 July 2002

All day negotiations are being held in Fiji today in an effort to end a strike that's causing severe disruptions to national airline, Air Pacific.

Flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland have all been delayed today and thousands of passengers have been affected over the last week following the union's work to rule and strike action.

Air Pacific's general manager of sales and marketing, Craig McCarthy, is uncertain how long the strike will continue

"I can't tell you whether something is going to come out of the discussion, but we're certainly hopeful that, you know, a negotiated position can be reached between the two parties."

Mr McCarthy says tourists in Fiji are being kept informed as to when they will be flying out.

The secretary of the Fiji Aviation Workers Association says he's been told to shut up about the strike because of possible legal action.

Attar Singh says the strike is still very much on but he can no longer talk about it.

I'm advised by our legal advisor, not to comment on any questions relating to strike, apparently because Air Pacific I understand is trying to seek an injunction from the high court to restrain us to some respect. So I'm advised not to comment on strike-related questions at all.

The union has said they're negotiating over pay and conditions, redundancy payments and loss of benefits.