It's believed one of the three Fiji trade unionists who've been in Australia and New Zealand drumming up support for action against Qantas and Air Pacific, Daniel Urai (pictured), is returning in the next day or two.
He's expected to be be accompanied by an Australian delegate with sources saying the TWU is prepared for both to be detained, triggering strike action.
Inside sources revealed to Coupfourpointfive several days ago the illegal regime has in place a snatch and grab team to take Urai, Felix Anthony and Rajeshwar Singh into custody for breaching the PER.
It's believed the regime will try to charge the trio under the Crimes Decree 2009 for inciting to cause public disobedience under the PER, giving false information to the international media and other organizations in a bid to disrupt essential services, and aiding and abetting a fugitive wanted under the law of Fij. The latter refers to their presence at the Roko Ului Mara Sydney rally over the weekend.
Sources say the Australian TWU has given Qantas until Wednesday next week to agree to international work standards for afiiliate workers in Fiji and strike action will follow if they refuse. Strike action will also be taken if there are more human rights violations against Fiji union officials or workers.
The Fiji Airline Pilots’ Association (FALPA) has meanwhile today released a statement expressing its concern and disappointment at the recent tactics employed by Air Pacific CEO, David Pflieger during its contractual negotiations.
FALPA President Richard Ali, speaking on behalf of the 80 union members, said “We are very disappointed that Mr Pflieger has approached the media to discuss his views on the on-going negotiations.
"The negotiations are still a work in progress and airing a clearly one sided view in the media does nothing to help bring the two parties closer together. We are particularly concerned with the ‘scare tactic’ statements he has chosen to release to the media in an attempt to pressure our members into accepting a new contract which would see a major erosion of their working conditions with nothing offered in return.
"Dave has typically made selected and unsubstantiated comments about the comparison of working conditions with other airlines, intentionally trying to mislead the public as he has tried with Air Pacific employees. Air Pacific has not offered profit sharing in its proposal to FALPA; furthermore, pilots were excluded from taking voluntary redundancy as they were considered “critical to the needs of the airline”.
We are not entirely surprised that he would go outside the bounds of what is considered ‘good faith’ within the negotiations arena. It’s in keeping with his steam roller practices and negative attitude towards Air Pacific employees, many of whom are Fiji nationals with many years loyal service to our national airline including during difficult times.”
The Association also stated its disappointment at the on-going use of overseas consultants at the negotiating table. “We believe that more positive progress would be made if Air Pacific management would talk directly with the union representatives and not use third party consultants. At a time when the CEO is crying foul about Air Pacific finances, we’re astounded at the number of overseas consultants employed in the business right now.
"Progress is also slowed by their lack of knowledge of Fijian labour laws and practices. We continue to be disappointed with their insistence on trying to ‘Americanise’ our contract and working conditions."