The International Federation of Pilots, representing more than 100,000 pilots worldwide has written to the Fiji regime in support of the accused Air Pacific pilot, Shalend Scott. In repsonse to information and lobbying from Coupfourpointfive, IFALPA hierarchy has sent the following letter to Frank Bainimarama, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Epeli Nailatikau and Filipe Bole. The support of the Global Voice of Pilots is indeed welcome.
'For a nation that depends on tourism, it is counter-productive to arrest and charge a pilot who transports these tourists for his union activity. If Mr Scott’s rights or due process is abused in any way, it will be noted by other pilots who may choose to avoid operating into Fiji.'-IFALPA
14th October 2011
Commodore Josaia Voreque Bainimarama
Republic of the Fiji Islands
Office of the PM PO Box 2353
Dear Commodore Josaia Voreque Bainimarama,
We are writing on behalf of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Association (“IFALPA”), which represents over 100,000 pilots in more than 100 countries worldwide, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (“ITF”), a federation of 779 unions representing 4 ½ million workers in 155 countries.
We are deeply disturbed about the arrest and detention of Mr. Shalend Scott, the Secretary of the Fiji Airline Pilots Association. We understand that he was not informed of the charges against him at the time of his arrest on October 4, 2011, and he was given no opportunity for bail.
We now know that he was charged on October 7, 2011 with unauthorized access and removal of Air Pacific documents which disclosed the company’s pivotal role in the imposition of a harsh antitrade union law, the Essential National (Employment) Industries Decree. It is apparent that this arrest was designed to intimidate unions and their officers from exercising their basic human and workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain for wages and working conditions. We note that this is not the only recent arrest of trade union officials in an effort to repress workers’ rights.
We appreciate that Mr. Scott has been released on bail on October 12, 2011. Both IFALPA and ITF will continue to monitor Mr. Scott’s case to insure his basic human rights are observed and he receives full due process.
For a nation that depends on tourism, it is counter-productive to arrest and charge a pilot who transports these tourists for his union activity. If Mr. Scott’s rights or due process is abused in any way, it will be noted by other pilots who may choose to avoid operating into Fiji.
We expect that Mr. Scott will be accorded full due process in resolving the charges against him.
On behalf of the world’s pilots,
Captain Don Wykoff
On behalf of the world’s transport workers,
cc: President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Hon Filipe Bole, Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment