The National Federation Party has questioned the Management and Board of Air Terminal Services to come out clean on whether they are victimising those locked out employees who have returned to work by telling them they will not have any pay rise and employment promotion for the next two years.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says if this is true, then the Board and Management of ATS is also discriminating those who have a 49% stake in the company.
“We have been reliably informed that those who were locked out more than two weeks ago and have chosen to return to work have been told that they will not be given any pay rise or promotion at work. This is victimisation and discrimination”.
“We ask the ATS Board and Management to come out clean on the issue. We also believe that the Management also stated that those workers who walked out would not be paid for the duration of the lock-out and would be subjected to disciplinary measures upon their return to work”.
“So far, we have seen that ATS Board, Management and the Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister have defiantly and illegally treated this as a strike issue”.
“It is not. It is purely 49 percent of shareholders in ATS expressing concern at how the company is being run and seeking justice”.
“It is shocking that the honourable Minister is not correcting his decision to declare the walkout by workers who are shareholders to attend a meeting as a strike. For argument’s sake, even if the Minister is right, then then he should also order that the workers return to work immediately”.
“He either failed to or deliberately did not do this. He also either failed to or deliberately did not declare the lock-out by ATS Board and Management illegal”.
“This is giving rise to perception that the honourable Minister is dancing to the tune of the Management and the Board”.
“To dispel this perception, the honourable Minister must do the right thing”.
“While the rest of Fiji celebrated Christmas and New Year, the workers, their families and children spent the festive season in tents. This impasse must end and nobody should be victimised and discriminated including those who have opted to return to work”.
“No one must be compelled into saying or signing any document, including the letters as unlawfully required by ATS”.
“And more importantly, the honourable Prime Minister who has advocated globally to finding solutions through Talanoa, should spearhead the same to end this impasse”.
“He has been consistently saying that under his leadership no one will be left behind. He should put this to practice and ensure that no ATS worker is victimised”.
Professor Biman Prasad