Industrial relations consultant denies acting for David Pflieger’s Air Pacific to counter ILO attack on Essential Industries Decree
By Victor Lal
Andy Cook, a London based industrial relations consultant allegedly hired by Air Pacific CEO David Pflieger to help enforce the draconian Essential Industries Decree has disassociated himself from the contents of a letter that Pflieger had written to the illegal Bainimarama-Khaiyum regime.
On Thursday, September 15, 2011, Coupfourpointfive had published a copy of a letter from Pflieger to the illegal regime, which stated as follows: “30 August 2011 - TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I confirm that Air Pacific Limited, a limited liability company of Fiji, in which the majority shares are owned by the Fiji Government, has retained Marshall-James of Kent House, Upper Mulgrave Road, Cheam, Surrey, UK, to work on its behalf on issues relating to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint made against Fiji and the airline. Andy Cook of Marshall-James has authority to procure services from third parties in this regard. Yours sincerely, David H. Pflieger, Jr.”
However, Andy Cook, founder and chief executive officer of Marshall-James, says he is not currently working in any capacity on anything related to Fiji or Fijian employers. If anything, he supports the rights of organized labour, and is urging the Fiji regime to adopt a policy of engaging with the International Union Movement and the ILO. According to Cook’s statement:
(1) I support the rights of organised labour. I believe wholeheartedly in the value of Trade Unions;
(2) I have not been engaged by Air Pacific or the Fijian Government to support or help implement the Essential Industries Decree;
(3) As a Labour Relations Specialist, I get asked to look at many different scenarios and situations. Having been asked my opinion, I have been urging the Fijian Government to adopt a policy of engaging with the International Union Movement and the ILO to begin to address the concerns and issues expressed by these communities with a view to finding a way forward. This is very important for all concerned. If there is a desire for engagement, then I am willing to play a part in making that happen.
(4) Lastly, I confirm that I am not currently working in any capacity on anything related to Fiji or Fijian Employers.
Andy Cook is a veteran British trade unionist and was a union officer before founding his own industrial