11 Jan 2010

Fiji union hopeful for Tuvalu to help former Air Fiji staff

6:49 pm on 11 January 2010

The Fiji Transport Workers Union remains optimistic that the Tuvalu government will support the union's compensation claims for employees of the now defunct Air Fiji.

Tuvalu has been a major shareholder in the airline which ceased operations last May.

The union's general secretary, Kamlesh Kumar, says Tuvalu's transport minister has at least agreed to consider their claims, which he says is a positive sign.

But he admits he has been struggling to get further dialogue with the Tuvalu government over the matter since filing the compensation claim last year.

Half of Air Fiji's former employees remain unemployed, and he says it's only fair that workers are compensated.

"The compensation claim consists of outstanding wages, outstanding payment with regards to superannuation contributions, It also includes salary taxes and deductions made for insurance, housing and union fees. Apart from that we have asked for a compensation claim, which is largely based on a redundancy payout format, because the company has now decided to completely close operations. If we are successful that will enable the workers to receive some reprieve, some money and then they can move on."

Kamlesh Kumar .