Threats by Australia's Transport Workers Union in support of Fiji trade unionists and workers (as revealed by Coupfourpointfive yesterday) could hit Fiji hard. The New Zealand Council of Trade Union is now also discussing the Australian action. Here are the latest updates on the TWU action from Newstalk ZB in New Zealand and the AAP.
Flights in and out of Fiji these school holidays could be hit by industrial action. The Australian Transport Workers Union is threatening the action over the alleged beating of union officials, and the introduction of decrees removing rights of workers. Union national secretary Tony Sheldon (pictured above) says it will involve members who refuel aircraft, caterers, cleaners and baggage and ramp handlers. He says if threats, and the terrorism of work place leaders, continues, then direct industrial action will be taken in support of their Fijian colleagues.
"If Qantas, Air Pacific and it's interests do not proclaim support for a Fijian workforce, then we will take direct action against Qantas, Air Pacific and people flying in and out of Fiji," he told Newstalk ZB. Mr Sheldon says they are not going to stand by and see their pacific neighbours terrorised by their own military regime.
NZ Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway says they'll discus the siutation with a Fiji union delegation in Auckland today. "I've certainly met with them in New Zealand to discuss this issue and they're quite aware of the situation," he told Newstalk ZB. "But it's not about us making threats at this stage, it's about sitting down and carefully working through the options."
Mr Conway says the CTU has warned commercial interests in New Zealand that the Fiji situation is inevitably going to spill over onto the broader public arena and could affect New Zealand's trading relations, including air and sea travel. (By Sam Thompson for Newstalk ZB)
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