20 Jan 2018

Fiji judge orders end to month-long lockout of airport workers

6:33 pm on 20 January 2018
People gather to march in Nadi

The ATS workers had been locked out since December, prompting a large march through the town of Nadi. Photo: FTUC

A Fiji judge has ordered an end to the month-long lockout of workers at the country's main international airport.

More than 200 service and maintenance workers have been suspended without pay since December, when they attended a meeting to discuss grievances with their employer, ATS.

ATS said the gathering amounted to illegal strike action, and would only allow workers to return if they signed a letter admitting guilt.

But a court this afternoon said ATS did not follow due process, giving the company 48 hours to allow the workers to return to their jobs.

A spokesperson for the employees, Vili Finau, said the judge also ordered that all pay and entitlements from the 16th of December be restored.

"The issue of the signing of the letter when reverting back to work, all that has been abolished," said Mr Finau. "That's not going to take place.

"Everyone's just being reverted back to work without penalty or any condition whatsoever. So all ranks throughout all the departments in the company are reverting back to work on Monday."

Mr Finau said the workers were celebrating on Saturday, and are ready to return to their jobs on Monday.