Fijivillage
NEWS SPORTS
22 January, 2021, 5:48 am Central - 24°C Rain

FTUC condemns contract terminations but Fiji Airways says all applicable laws were adhered to

FTUC condemns contract terminations but Fiji Airways says all applicable laws were adhered to

By Semi Turaga
Tuesday 26/05/2020
Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary Felix Anthony

Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary Felix Anthony says the termination of the contracts of 758 Fiji Airways employees have come without notice nor does it appear that there were sufficient consultations or negotiations with the union but Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen says all Fiji Airways employees have been regularly updated on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company, and the need for increasingly drastic actions if the situation did not improve.

In a statement, Anthony says the termination of the 758 Fiji Airways staff is a demonstration of how insensitive the management is, in dealing with such sensitive issues.

He says of greater concern is that the management has given employees 48 hours to return all company property.

Anthony says workers were escorted out of the premises by security personnel after being told of their termination.

1127352595ecb3d2d0b64cc073bdf3

Fiji Airways hanger. [image: file]

He says this is inhumane treatment of employees.

He adds that if Fiji Airways was in financial strife because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it ought to have consulted the union in accordance with the Employment Relations Act and entered into consultations with the union and entered into an agreement prior to serving termination letters.

Anthony says the Collective Agreement between Fiji Airways and the union requires Fiji Airways to give 60 days’ notice of intended redundancy and to explore all possibilities to avert redundancy.

He says if this is not possible then Fiji Airways has the obligation to pay one months’ salary to workers with less than one year of service.

Anthony says for workers with more than a year's service, workers are entitled to be paid three months base salary plus weeks pay for every year of service.

The FTUC National Secretary claims this was totally disregarded by management who simply advised workers that the board had made the decision.

He further claims that the board was nowhere to be seen.

Anthony says union representatives who attended yesterday morning's meeting were handed their termination letters at the meeting.

He also says employers such as Fiji Airways cannot and should not take advantage of the current pandemic crisis and summarily terminate workers.

In response to the statement by FTUC, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen says Fiji Airways appreciates the impact of the announcement on their colleagues who have regrettably had their employment terminated.

He says this was an extremely difficult decision, and one that was made only after all other avenues were exhausted, in order to ensure Fiji Airways’ survival.

Viljoen adds Fiji Airways is in the same position as most other airlines, having to pay recurrent fixed costs, but earning next to zero revenue.

He stresses that in the circumstances, it was simply not sustainable for the company to continue to pay salaries to employees who are not working.

Viljoen further says today’s terminations were based upon the company’s inability to provide work to affected employees; this was not a restructuring or redundancy process.

He adds all Fiji Airways employees have been regularly updated on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company, and the need for increasingly drastic actions if the situation did not improve.

Viljoen says all applicable laws were adhered to.

He adds that this is a sad day for the company, and their thoughts are with their colleagues who, like many people around the world, have lost their jobs as a consequence of this unprecedented global pandemic.

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Drug and substance abuse in Fiji
Substance abuse including marijuana cases are on the rise amongst students in schools during the COVID-19 period, and urgent action is required.
30 days ago

Tropical Cyclone Yasa
The impacts felt from Yasa were large and wide. Many affected people had their access to essential things, like food and water, cut ...
38 days ago

Ratu Naiqama becomes Leader of Opposition after Rabuka resigns
Rabuka made the announcement while responding to the opening of the 2020-2021 Parliament ...
38 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Contractors to either pay hefty performance bond or fix recently done roads
If road contractors do not carry out works as expected and potholes open up just weeks or a few months after rehabilitation works, they have to either...
13 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Corrections Centres in Fiji overcrowded by 12% - Panapasa
The Corrections Centres in Fiji are overcrowded by 12% as the approved capacity is a population of 2129 however there are currently 2379 inmates in ...
11 hours ago

4,398 FNPF members assisted under Tropical Cyclone Yasa relief
The Fiji National Provident Fund has paid $6.1 million to 4,398 members under the Tropical Cyclone Yasa relief so far. FNPF received 5,025 ...
11 hours ago

FNPF members must re-apply to receive assistance for Phase 2 Round 4
Fiji National Provident Fund members who have accessed the ongoing COVID-19 withdrawals and wish to continue receiving this assistance must re-apply ...
11 hours ago

NGO Coalition calls for stronger accountability but Commission says Fiji should face the same level of scrutiny as all other countries
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights Chair, Nalini Singh is calling for stronger accountability and commitment to human rights in Fiji however the ...
11 hours ago

Consumer Council raises serious concerns about some school buses
The Consumer Council of Fiji has raised serious concerns after students of Saint Marcellin Primary School were left stranded due to the negligent ...
13 hours ago

TOP