The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has received a letter from lawyers acting for Air Pacific threatening damages if workers take any action in support of human rights for Fijian workers.
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said “it is hypocritical for Air Pacific to rely on employment law in New Zealand to try to prevent any support for restoration of fundamental employment law in Fiji.”
“This will also make people think twice before using an airline that won’t stand up for the most basic human rights.”
“The CTU has stated from the outset that any action is a decision of members and that we would consult with employers and the NZ Government before this took place.”
“This heavy-handed and threatening response from Air Pacific is unwarranted and is designed to intimidate New Zealand workers before they even have an opportunity to discuss the crisis in Fiji, including decrees removing worker rights and beatings of union officials”.
The CTU is calling on Air Pacific to support the people of Fiji against the military Government and work with organisations in New Zealand to demand labour laws be restored.
Peter Conway said that the CTU will instruct it’s lawyer to respond to the Simpson Grierson letter.
Editor's Note: Dave Pflieger needs to be asked: Why is Air Pacific competing with budget carriers when it is not a budget carrier itself? Like Qantas did with Jetstar, perhaps it is time Air Pacific rebranded and becomes a budget carrier or turn Pacific Sun into a budget carrier by repainting one of it's 737 aircraft. Then we will be on a level playing field. Pflieger can then ask passengers to pay for meals, drinks and entertainment and no-one will complain. There has also been a lot of back tracking from Pflieger in recent times. No word on voluntary retirement packages. And his recent comment in the Fiji Times about "not having a girlfriend" is classic case of foot in the mouth. Why mention it at all unless his conscience is not clear.