29 Jun 2020

Fiji workers take company to court over layoffs

2:57 pm on 29 June 2020

The union representing hundreds of workers laid off by the Air Terminal Services (ATS) in Fiji says it has filed legal action against the government-owned company.

Nadi International Airport, Fiji

Nadi International Airport, Fiji Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

Two weeks ago, the ATS board approved the termination of almost 300 employment contracts saying the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted 95 percent of its business.

The Federated Airlines Staff Association said the termination of contracts was never on the agenda and the union had suspended all talks with the company.

Union president Semisi Turagabaleti claimed senior management remain employed despite the "95 percent reduction in business" and the axing of workers.

Union lawyer Niven Padarath said they were challenging the decision by the ATS to lay off 285 workers.

Mr Padarath said an application had been filed and the matter would be called before a judge on Wednesday.

The Fiji government holds 51 percent of ATS shares while the ATS Employee Trust (ATSET) has a 49 per cent stake.