#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Australian Govt wants explanation from Qantas over anti-union decree

Friday, September 30, 2011

Australian Govt wants explanation from Qantas over anti-union decree

Qantas is being asked to explain its role in an anti-union crackdown by the Fiji military regime. It follows documents leaked to Coupfourpointfive which show the Air Pacific CEO, David Pflieger, initiated and paid the New York law firm MILBANK, TWEED, HADLEY & McCLOY LLP $US23, 943.75 or FJD $43,200.00 to draft the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree.

The ABC's JEFF WATERS takes up the story:

Julia Gillard
The Federal Government is calling on Qantas to explain its role in an anti-union crackdown by Fiji's military government.

Documents appear to show a company part-owned by Qantas, Air Pacific, paid for the drafting of Fiji's new Emergency Industries (Employment) decree.

Qantas owns 46 per cent of the Fijian airline, which is accused of paying a US law firm to draft Fiji's new decree which bans unionism in some sectors.

The decree has been widely condemned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and human rights groups.

Two Qantas directors also sit on the board of Air Pacific, which is 51-per-cent owned by the Fijian government.

So the question being widely asked is whether Qantas executives knew about, or had a hand in, Air Pacific's involvement in drafting the anti-union law.

Australia's parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island affairs Richard Marles calls the decree a "disgrace".

"There is no sense in which this is fair law, and the ILO have come to Fiji and made it really clear that they disagree with it; that it's in breach of ILO conventions," he said.

"I'm aware of the reports that Air Pacific engaged lawyers to draft the essential industry's decree; obviously Qantas is a near-half shareholder in Air Pacific.

"Qantas's engagement in Fiji is obviously a matter for Qantas, they're a private company, but I think all Australians and Australian businesses that are engaging in Fiji need to be exercising their own judgment about whether or not their actions benefit the people of Fiji."

Mr Marles says Qantas should explain any potential involvement in drafting the decree to the Australian public.

"In this circumstance, I think it is completely appropriate that the Australian public hears from Qantas an explanation for how they've exercised their judgment in this case around the essential industry's decree," he said.

But Qantas, which is facing its own industrial action, is distancing itself from the scandal.

No-one from Qantas was available for interview on any possible connection between itself, Air Pacific and the union crackdown.

But a spokesman said Qantas had no involvement in the day-to-day running of Air Pacific.

Air Pacific did not return the ABC's calls or emails.
'No excuse'
ACTU president Ged Kearney says she also wants the situation explained.

And she says that when Qantas's own Australian unions hear about the possible link, it may make matters much worse for an airline which is bracing for strike action on Friday.

"There's no excuse whatsoever," Ms Kearney said.

"In fact, it's a significant shareholding. They have a responsibility to be influential with what is happening on the board and ... trade unions would be absolutely horrified to think that Qantas had any role in the drafting of the decrees in Fiji and the implementation and indeed funding it.

"If workers thought that Qantas had any role in what's happening in Fiji, it would simply invigorate the action they're taking against Qantas.

"It goes a long way to explaining - if it were true, that Qantas did have a role in this - a long way to explaining why they have the attitude they're having to their workers in Australia; why it's so difficult for Australian trade unions to actually be negotiating decent outcomes for their workers here."


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Minister closing shops,i thought fiji needed investors,Neel you sending wrong message to all business, if LOCALS dont invest how would you expect OVERSEAS investors to come. Fiji Investor unfriendly,PM this kid Neel needs a flick on his ear,he is undoing what you have done in getting investors

Anonymous said...

Why is an Australian company actively tempering with the laws in another country? And an oppressive piece of legislation at that.
Isn't that illegal?
Wouldn't this make the ACTU's case stronger to strike in Australia against all Air Pacific flights.

We should all stop flying Air Pathetic anyway. Its now run by morons.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Fiji business operating in fear as FIRCA is no longer has privacy laws ,your tax information can be shared with any individual,This is the only TAX department in the world which is privledged to share info,Minister for international trade you taking the country back back and back

Anonymous said...

Shortage of Doctors in Govt hospitals,now pharmacists told to leave the country ,good thought to all medical professionals,this is the time to relocate.PNG has some good offers and no Neel Sharma there.Good money too and you wont regret.I just came here few weeks ago and lots of opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Mr Nand,close all you business and send all staff home ,i heard you employ close to 200,send them to Samabula Drug store,Rohit will employ them and all your pharmacist to Riflerang where Neel Abortion Sharma lives .Lets see if he can provide jobs which Fiji really need now .its a pity sleepy PM cant rationalise all this or he has lost the plot to support locala

Anonymous said...

Qantas for all purposes is half owner in Air Pac.
Air Pac is worth ? at least $1 billion?

and they say they have no interest. Are the directors of CEO of Qantas and the directors of Qantas are this careless about AUD 250 million value then there is something seriusly wrong in Qantas....isnt wonder they are having problems with their union. ..looks like the shareholders in Qantas need a clean out.

Air Pac cancelled its Boeing purchase orders for new planes and the rumuor now its going to buy airbus.
It plans to go to FNPF for $600 million to pay for these planes.

Average rate of return on international airlines is 4 % . Hardly a return that will secure the future geneartions of our people.

What is Qantas's contribution to this....they will in fact be getting cheap finance from the people of Fiji.

If Qantas is asked to contribute its share of the money, not from locsl sources, then their Directors will have to do a lot of justifying to QA australia.....that might make them sit up and get involved.....after all the people of Fiji have been under the impression Qantas has been giving guidance to our Airline to keep us safe......but it looks like the farking aussies dont give a fark once more.......the same mentality as leave us in the farking rain and sun to get a visa.it takes us to look north before they give a fark.

if Australia wants to be americas sherrif in the South pacific, it better pay more attention and stop wanting to be in the middle of europe.

I suppose qantas wants out , to sell, and to do that phliger needs to nutrilize the unions before any asian airline will buy in. asians dont like unions full stop.
unions are toxic.

so "whats up doc?"

wardan got a solution to save our airline?????

Radiolucas said...

@ 10:45am

I agree. They should also look at Fiji Water and what the decree does to Virgin Australia's competition in Fiji. Shameful - investors are rightfully wary of doing business with us BECAUSE of the stupidity of the regime!

mark manning said...

At about 7 a.m. this morning, 30th. of September 2011, an ABC24 Reporter, asked a direct question to the QANTAS Spokeswoman, about its hand in the writing up of these Decrees by American Lawyers and QANTAS' involvement.
Of course they hid behind the fact that they have no hand in the day to day operations of Air Pacific !
Obviously QANTAS has never heard of " Umbrella " Companies !





mark manning said...

Vote with your feet, fly Virgin !
No more remittances to Fiji until the coup is over and Democracy restored in Fiji.

Foreign investor said...

I represent one of the overseas investors forced into mortgagee sale by the Interim Government so they can pick it up cheap. Our circumstances were soley brought about by the IG withdrawing all the agreed at with the total lack of confidence and loss of sales due to the coup we are forced to take a large loss and FIRCA just do not repay taxes that are due to be refunded.Their word is worth zero. Then they look for new investor suckers. Investors beware.

Anonymous said...

Can C4.5 please find out from FNPF whether they have been approached by Air Pacific to provide money for new planes?

FNPF should not be loaning any more money to unprofitable companies (like Air Pacific). The people of Fiji cannot afford to lose anymore of their FNPF.

-Valataka na Dina.

Kenneth Zinck said...

International should be an option NOW, Kenneth Zinck

Anonymous said...



Als Mate. said...

Suggest before any AUS gov of any political persuation starts publicly strongarming any little green leprecorns they take a long hard look at their own involment in the continuing foreign policy train wreck known as Fiji?

This is what can happen when sensitive areas of policy are outsourced to private institutions.

Anonymous said...

FNPF is willing to provide a large sum of cash to purchase the new aircraft,a large sum of hard earned tax payers money yet they can't provide less than $10,000 for education assistance to members.T is our hard earned money and I'm sure the Air PAC board which includes two Qantas board members has knowledge of FNPF funding the new aircraft.Also what the overseas media need to pressure Qantas and Air Pacific about is the compensation money from Boeing for the cancelled 787 orders.The airline was given in excess of $50 million in compensation yet the employees or the Fiji public have not been told where this money has gone.Unfortunately most of those who our hopes rested on in top positions may now have their pockets lined so money really is the root of all evil.Judgement day is coming and all these motherf#%kers making life hard for us will regret all they did to hurt the people of Fiji when they burn in hell.When the tables turn I would like to see where Pflieger and all his highly paid consultants are.They better have an escape plan.The Fijian people are one of the friendliest people in the world but if you affect our families and our hard work by imposing laws to change benefits etc which will affect our Income and our day to day lives you better be prepared to run.Your lies will catch up to you and your family will be cursed for generations for the pain you have brought upon us.Your days are numbered.I hope and pray our military make a stand against these people. I know the majority of you don't agree with all this as you still have high morals and value of our culture which is slowly being dissolved,Wake up!this has really gone too far now and heads need to roll!

Anonymous said...

To FNPF_ u cannot afford to give more loans to anyone right now. Let Air Pac die the natural death. Just rem that its not your money, its our moneys - FNPF members..you cannot even reform the pension system properly, now u wanna give away another $500m?

Anonymous said...

FNPF - ..qori neimami lavo na members, dou qarauna tiko na investment caka tiko qori. You are just custodians of members funds , ,,kua na masi polo vei na matanitu..

Vanua. said...

@ Anon 11:03.

Fully appreciate your concerns - could understand all of this if it was attempted by Indians - what I don't understand is why Taukei culture is being undermined by its own - RFMF?

Anonymous said...

Yes FNPF is giving out thr $500million loan to air pac., confirmed by air pac staff this morning. This is going too far. Phliger came to Fiji to make all businesses go corrupt except for Shenaaz Voss' Hertz rental car business in return for pleasure in bed. FNPF's ROI decreasin every year and doesn't even reach the normal target of 1% above annual inflation rate yet u still givin out $500m to an inprofitable company??where's the due diligence???? U talk abt it in press conferences n statement yet I don't walk the talk?? Prudent investment my foot ni sa sota ga va masi polo..this is tooo much for the fnpf members.how wil air pac pay back wen they monitor their cash flow on a daily basis? They keep on deferring payments to save money have u ever lookd at all of these??? I have access to their cash flows n it looks pathetic!..I'm wondering whether we , members will still have money in the General Reserve (ur SAL) to meet future pension payments or not...sa oti vakadua o keda..Pls God save Fiji

Taukei. said...

Anon 11:40.
Much as they tell you - you can't eat money.

Your Taukei? You return to your mataqali & grow & catch your own food - your Indian - good luck.

Anonymous said...

@anon 5.24 pm..u filthy nutcase crap..ulukau bavulu..go n suck Dave sumore.

Anonymous said...

@11.40am. im sure you're not a Fiji Citizen.so bugg off from this forum