30 Sep 2011

Australian unions call for Qantas to come clean over Fiji decree

6:18 pm on 30 September 2011

Unions in Australia have stepped up calls for Qantas to clarify its role in allegations its Fijian affiliate helped draft a decree restricting union activity in Fiji.

Qantas owns 46 per cent of Air Pacific, which is accused of paying a United States law firm to draft Fiji's new Essential National Industries Decree.

The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions says Australians have a right to know what Qantas knows about Air Pacific's involvement in the drafting of the decree.

Ged Kearney says if Qantas has nothing to hide it has no reason not to explain itself.

Australia's parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island affairs, Richard Marles is also calling for Qantas to explain any potential involvement to the Australian public.

He says there is no sense in which the decree is fair law and the International Labour Organisation has made it clear that it's in breach of ILO conventions.

A Qantas spokesperson has told AAP that the airline has no comment other than that it's a minority shareholder in Air Pacific and has no involvement in its day-to-day running.