#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Regime paid first class fare of delegation to go back to Sydney

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Regime paid first class fare of delegation to go back to Sydney

The military regime might have felt it had the upper hand when it sent the Australian and New Zeland trade unionists back on the same flight they flew in on, but it had to pay for the privilege.

Trade union leaders Ged Kearney and Helen Kelly and three others were forced back to Sydney yesterday afternoon when the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, refused to allow them to pass immigration.

He claimed the team who wanted to talk to unions, employers and the regime to establish itself where and how widespread the abuse of human and workers rights was, had prejudged Fiji.

Kearney and Kelly got the better of him, though. 

Kelly, the president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, sent a text to New Zealand confirming they were being ordered out but revealed the regime had to pay their return fare.

Her text message to Fairfax Media said: "On plane home. Took phone. Refused to let us in and we refused to pay for departure. They paid and held up plane for hour." 

Khaiyum has confirmed her story in interviews, including the one he did with ABC's drive time host, Steve Chase (see earlier story on Coupfourpointfive), admitting they had to cough up so the flight could take off. 

Khaiyum admitted to local media today that it was the only way to get the delegation out of Fiji: “We also understand a couple of the delegates were travelling business class and they insisted on travelling back on business class so the Fijian government had to ensure that that actually happened. That was financially catered for by the Fijian government.”


  1. Seen it all before....December 14, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    "insisted on travelling business class".

    Tells you everything about the mentality of this particular section of ANZ trade union movement. Only solidarity these ladies have ever displayed lies in maintaining their privileged lifestyles.

  2. Typical union leadersDecember 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Ha Ha ha. Surprise, surprise. These representatives of the workers were flying business class! Says it all doesn't it. Union fat cats. Of course, they've tried to make the Fiji Government look stupid for having to pay for the return journey. But it's not Aiyaz's fault if these people insisted on flying up front. What a complete disgrace! This is the kind of attitude that has taken hold in Fiji. Huge salaries, flash cars and the very best of everything. Up the workers? yeah. right up them! It's time they were booted up the back. If I had my way, they'd be in the hold in a pet pack because that's where they belong. Pigs with their snouts in the trough.

  3. Bullshit, Ged Kearny said in a interview with radio Australia that they had paid for their return tickets before they came to Fiji. Their return ticket was transferred and used during the ILLEGAL deportation

  4. Lot of things happening in this country smells. How can Vinod Patel & co case go from not guilty verdict by 3 assessors to guilty overnight?

  5. Taxpayers paid, not Kai Yum !!

  6. Wake up to this farceDecember 15, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    It all makes sense now. These women take a day off work knowing they'll be flying to Fiji and back in business class, sipping champagne all day, getting turned back and then turning the whole thing into a propaganda stick to beat the Fiji Government.

    Wake up you guys! If the sanctions these people want to enforce on Fiji are put in place, it's moce vakadua to the economy and our jobs. How the hell does that help workers in Fiji? This whole thing makes me so angry.

    Felix Anthony and Dan Urai were quiet for four and a half years, happy to be part of the 2006 coup and everything that flowed from it. We know they were getting big salaries and flash cars while many of the people they were supposed to represent hovered above or below the poverty line.

    It was only when they fell out with Frank that they began this campaign and it's all about the erosion of their power and privileges. So fess up guys, this is all about YOU, not the workers of Fiji.

    These are the people whose work practices were driving Air Pacific to extinction with its record loss last year. Whatever you think about Air Pac management, that loss has been turned around. What's more important? Union power at Air Pacific or a viable local airline that brings in the tourists we need to survive?

    Anthony and Urai are actively sabotaging the Fiji economy. I don't want them jailed or otherwise harmed. But I want ordinary Fijians and the Australian media to wake up to this farce and realise the damage they're doing.

  7. Unionist big fat lying cats. Proven again, high fly lifestyle, business class travel, 5 star hotels, fat pay cheques
    bloody trouble makers, f..off from Fiji

  8. Anon at 7.41, you don't know what you're talking about. They had return business class tickets valid only for the flights they'd booked. They couldn't be transferred and used for the flight they were forced to take back. The same would happen to you if you had a restricted ticket. So the Fiji taxpayer was obliged to pick up the tab.

    The scandalous part about this is that ordinary workers in Australia are paying their union leaders to fly business class on a mission designed to damage the jobs of Fiji workers.

    You'd have thought that they'd at least have flown Air Pacific, given that they were on a mission partly designed to bolster the union case at Air Pacific. But no, they came in on Virgin.

    You'd have thought that flying economy just this once might have been a better look, especially with an ABC journalist travelling with them back in economy. But no, they fly business everywhere else. Why give up their luxuries now?

    You can bet that they didn't come on Air Pacific because they are members of the Virgin Frequent Flyer program. If they were Qantas frequent flyers, they'd have got their points on Air Pacific, which is a Qantas code share.

    This is the sorry state of the unions in both countries, leaching off ordinary workers to subsidise their opulent lifestyles. Will we hear that story from the media? Don't hold your breath.

  9. Definitely taxpayers money was used, but not on the air fare for the delegation .... it seems the military regime is planning a Christmas party with this money they choro banao !!

  10. fiji gov paid for the 2hrs delay not airfare..now that would be a lot of money....

  11. Again Fijians miss the point here.
    It's your rights and the rights of others which have been trampled over by the Regime.
    The airfares and deportation of Legal and Independent Representatives are deliberately being used to distract the Fijian Community from the more serious reality, the denial of Workers Rights in Fiji.

  12. and guess who pocketed the air fare money...the AG yarr!!

  13. So what if Fiji Tax payers foot the bill for tossing out these union thugs back to where they came from! People of Fiji are just glad that they did not enter!

  14. Seen it all before....December 15, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    @ Anon 7:41.

    Issue here is their "business class" mentality not who paid - which bye the way they certainly didn't. Makes you wonder what sort of "workers representitives" would arrive in a poor oppressed countries such as Viti "business class"?

  15. kaiyum my friend you are fighting a loosing battel


  16. Reported quote from Ged Kearney during an interview on return !

    "KEARNEY: We were standing around at sort of like a partitioned area in the customs area. There was a wall that we were kind of standing behind, but it was quite open to the rest of the tourists and things. And at one stage there was a very bizarre situation where a plane arrived and tourists were getting off and ukuleles were playing and people were singing Pacific songs, and on the other side of the partition was our delegation who were feeling very anxious and somewhat worried about what was going to happen and a very tense situation, so it was quite a surreal situation".

    So planes arriving with tourists getting off to the normal welcome of singing is a bizzare situation ?

  17. The cost of airfares will be negligible compared to the true cost of this action. It is very difficult to sell the notion that a regime that a) has nothing to hide and b) has the support of 95% of the population should be afraid of a delegation of foreign unionists. Even a quick ASK decree will not be able to mitigate the bite of the the law of unintended consequences. Fiji's economy and its new budget is based on mostly tourism and eventually even the moronic Australian red necks who flock to Fiji's shores grabbing the cheap deals on offer will use what little is left of their brain power and travel to Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu!

  18. I was one of the ACTU members of the delegation. We were told that the delegation could not use (our) paid return flights,and I actually had two available. We were not permitted to access our mobile phones to ring our Consulate, nor to even ring our office to change our bookings, that we would have paid for. Naturally all the delegates of course had return flights, on 3 different carriers to 3 different home town (Sydney, Melbn and NZ on Qantas, Virgin and Air NZ) a condition of entry to Fiji. At best, some of the delegation might have been able to access on flights on those same carriers leaving one or two hours later, at our cost. This was refused and we were ordered to be put on the same Virgin Flight. All of the delegation had to either pay the additional fare difference (range approx $100 - $500) of their original booking if they were on the same carrier, or in one case pay for a new ticket at more than $900 on the spot. As the airline couldn't accept the credit card offered for payment, nor were we permitted to access any cash machine, nor could we phone our travel agent while in "custody", ( remember we had our phones confiscated), Fiji Immigration decided to pay the two largest amounts. Virgin set the fare. We were seated in economy, and as far as I know Virgin doesn't have Business class. The delay to the Flight was caused by the airline and Authorities trying to "process" the booking, arising from the order that we all must leave at the time, on the same plane. The Staff who dealt with us were polite and as helpful as they could have been in dealing with a difficult situation imposed on them.

  19. What!!! Here we are thinking these people are coming here to help ordinary workers. Then we find out it's one tamani sized rort, using union funds to travel on business class when they knew they weren't going to be allowed to stay in Fiji in the first place. To top it all, we're the idiots who have to pay for the return trip with our taxes! Why should we have to finance this bloody stunt? Pay the money back!!!

  20. how low our illegal dictators have stooped.......forced the ladies out of the friendly isles even delaying the flight , just to get back and do what AG had ordered.

  21. David Carey, you should be ashamed of yourself. I don't care about the business class stuff, although we all know that the unions and Labor Party are the worst rorters on the planet. What makes me sick is this line your dreadful boss is running on Radio Australia portraying Fiji as some kind of repressive hellhole, a "bizarre" place where local musicians serenade the tourists while unwelcome guests like you wait to be kicked out. The difference, "mate", is that they are welcome and you are not.

    For your information, many people in Fiji like non-indigenous citizens are a hell of a lot better off under Bainimarama. Whatever his many faults, he's at least trying to build a better, fairer country. And what do you do? Support a union elite who've bled their members dry, were part of the regime clique until five minutes ago and then start screaming when their rights and privileges get called into question.

    Wake up and take notice of the facts. We don't want or need you here and please stop giving the world a distorted image that only hurts ordinary people in Fiji. My job and the welfare of my family depends on it. So bugger off, cobber, and leave me to try to make a better life as best I can.

  22. dina says...

    Lo & behold, some Fijian idiots/pro regime just don't see the bigger picture.

    Like Frank and Aiyaz and their cohorts, they like to deal with small matters and think they have won a big battle.

    This is the kinda treacherous treatment the illegal regime has been doing from day one.

    when you have male/military people the two included bashing and violating women and human rights, what else is there for them to do.

    they have killed and still stealing. they are law breakers of the highest order....what to you make out of these people & yet telling Fiji all should respect rule of law...bunch of hypocrites.

    These men do not have any dignity at all.

    they deserve to be burned in hell.

  23. Thank you David Carey and friends for what you have done and are doing for the workers and people of Fiji.

    For those of you questioning Felix and Urai about their sympathy for the regime at the start of all this (I was angry with them too), I would like to suggest we just find a way to work together despite our differences. We need all of us to pull together.

    Lets not forget our goal which is to get rid of the lawless regime that is currently playing with our country as if it were mandated to do so.

  24. @ David Carey - thank you for the clarification and the truth. We know you were part of the delegation. It's a pity that you had to endure this.

    See you again in the next visit.

    Solidarity Forever!!!

  25. In all of this, the ordinary Fiji citizen is the loser. The unionists travel in luxury at the expense of their members, Khaiyum feels powerful for his part in turning away at our airport a delegation he considered "hostile".
    The delegation has a free ride and gets the ammunituion it wanted all along, to mount a strike against Fiji's economy. Khaiyum, if he was sensible, would have allowed them in, opened his books to them and taken the opportunity to CONVINCE them to change their "pre-conceived notions" about trade unionism in Fiji.
    Now, we've got a puffed-up AG, an armed delegation of trade unionists and a likely upcoming volley against the Fiji economy.
    And in the midst of all this "role-playing" and "grand-standing" the ordinary Fiji citizen stands to be the victim as "collateral damage".

  26. In all of this, the ordinary Fiji citizen is the loser. The unionists travel in luxury at the expense of their members, Khaiyum feels powerful for his part in turning away at our airport a delegation he considered "hostile".
    The delegation has a free ride and gets the ammunituion it wanted all along, to mount a strike against Fiji's economy. Khaiyum, if he was sensible, would have allowed them in, opened his books to them and taken the opportunity to CONVINCE them to change their "pre-conceived notions" about trade unionism in Fiji.
    Now, we've got a puffed-up AG, an armed delegation of trade unionists and a likely upcoming volley against the Fiji economy.
    And in the midst of all this "role-playing" and "grand-standing" the ordinary Fiji citizen stands to be the victim as "collateral damage".

  27. Hahaha - everyone yelling about how Aiyaz paid for a couple of plane tickets... You must be all accountants or something eh?

    But what about the millions that they have paid themselves and their UAE bank accounts from their treason? The kickbacks from the chinese loans? The multiple salaries?

    Just more silence uh?

    What about them tickets?

  28. All of you regime supporters have typical Fijian mentality. Think outside the box and get the truth of the matter. Don't go about saying things you don't understand. You will all rot with the regime. Fijians in Fiji supporting the regime are just typically Fijian minded like the regime dictators.

  29. They knew before they left they were not going to be allowed into the country??? So what were they trying to prove? The biggest rorters of Union money are the Union leadership-one is going on right now in Australia i believe with a parlimentarian- but i still ask of the question where were you guys all this time and that includes you ladies in the Union movement. Its now a case of proving that you have some genuine concerns for the people of Fiji-really? If you had made a similar move some years back maybe it would have cut short what you are now trying to attempt! No coups, illegal Govt yes! yes! yes! but you waited until the eggs laid, hatched and the chicken starts running around before you get a brilliant burst of insight & decide you prefered not to have either hen or the roster!Theres only one option left and in Fiji lingo" kari toa" thats if you really have the guts but for me its case of TOO LITTLE TOO LATE ! Why? Becaue our Union leaders already showed where they stood after the coup and you Aussie & NZ Unions supported them! TEll me i am wrong! DRi yani!

  30. UNION SCANDLE i totally agee with what you saying-all the rest is history! They already had made up their minds so what was the purpose of the visit? To prove it was true-why were they only interested in Unions & Church Leaders what about the ordinary Fijians in the village?

  31. I noticed that the first few letters on this blog comes from none other than ASK himslef...The contry and the ordinary fijian ppl are going to feel the brunt of actions that will be implemented against the Fiji govt soon. ASK and Bainimarama are Dictators.... For all of you who are supporting them, better think about your childrens future....they already inherited the exhorbitant spending free these two idiots are doing...
    there time will come soon..and very very sooon!!!!

  32. At the end of it all, we now know for sure without an iota of doubt that Airyarse doesnt want the truth to come out especially about his f#@&# all decrees!

    The sideshown of who fly what class etc is typical of their dirty tactics to distract us from the main issue - mainly, the regime's unwillingness to come clean at the international stage!

    Sadly, a lost opportunity - some egozzz are just unbelievable humogous...and the cost to FIJI just as humogous!!!

  33. Well, in light of the delegation's forceful return its time for the Hon Khaiyum to wear the horse rear outfit (Horse Arse). Outfit capable of withstanding and sustaining enormous pressure from big fellas! Three things(1) No Longer can he and his boss continue to support violations of human, workers and religious rights in Fiji- all things have to end somewhere(2) their term in office is on the expiring stage(3)introvert supreme leader sheik pig will side with his own-the Fijians in the next coup and what's the finale of the horse rear? get ready to run run run....and don't come back.

  34. @ 1.23pm, how much NZ aid dollars have been pumped into Fiji since 2007?

    And what about before that?

  35. The regime continually insists that its foreign critics don't understand the facts on the ground and should come to Fiji to learn the truth. But whether they are union leaders, legal societies or ministerial contact groups, all get turned away at the last minute because the regime fears it will be exposed. Today's Fiji is a gulag dressed as a Potemkin village. Yes, Felix and Urai have much for which to answer. The issue of what class of travel two of the unionists used remains mildly interesting, David Carey's testimony notwithstanding. But these are very much side issues. After all, do you think Baini or Khaiyum travels economy class when he jets off to Geneva or Beijing? Their cowardly unwillingness to allow in ACTU's factfinding mission only fuels calls for a boycott of Fiji. At least the union leaders were elected. Shouldn't we save the main part of our umbrage for those who steal our government, disenfranchise us, deprive us of our basic human rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, religious worship, etc., bankrupt us, brutalize us, lie to us, and continue to steal our patrimony? And for those who, like some of the posters here, even now abet their crimes?

    s/ Dakuwaqa

  36. There's something really pathetic about Mafi USA and some others of this site. Blind stupidity or what? Come on, you idiots, look at the facts. The reason the pro-democacy forces are losing is in your bloody mirror in the morning. This whole ACTU/FTU was a total disaster from start to finish in PR terms. The government had nothing to do with it. Admit it or look like the bloody fools you are.

  37. Mafi USA.

    I agree with you. As soon as I read those first blogs in this thread, my very first suspicion as the writer was ASK himself.

    And yes...ASK has many things to hide but the truth will always prevail and will be "announced from housetops and hilltops" eventually.

    To those Bainimarama sympathisers who say that he is doing a remarkable job of improving our lives in Fiji; our lives are obviously NOT improving considering huge increases in the cost of living as opposed to the deteriorating standard of living amongst us in Fiji for the past five years.

    And David Carey...

    Your story appears plausible because I have experienced similar circumstances in which I had to pay extra high costs for altering my previously booked flights to other unscheduled flights.

    Thank you for your attempts and those of your party...but they were not in vain.

  38. What is Khaiyum trying to hide? Sa mata lelevu mai na ka qo.

  39. Its sad that people and the workers of fijihave to close their mouth and endure the pain while those in power make their money and live like millionaires at the expenses of the taxpaypers.Khaiyum and Bai your days are numbered. See you in Naboro.

  40. You have to wonder about the mental state of some contributors to this site. Do they really think that the AG - who has a stack of other portfolios too - would have nothing better to do than monitor 4.5 and race to the keyboard to respond before anyone else? Huh? Utterly, absolutely, breathtakingly amazing.

    How do you explain the fact that more than one person here thinks this? The only rational explanation is that some people can't bear to think that anyone other than ASK shares his vision of Fiji.

    Check out the Lowy poll, guys. It's why this government is in power five years after the coup and the Kenneth Zincks of the world aren't.

  41. @Poor deluded souls

    You sound very much like Gaddafi's sons and Sadam Hussein's information minister. Trying to defend the indefensible.

    Confident to the bitter end. Believing the crap that comes out of their and their supporters mouths.

    Just like Gaddafi and Sadam fell. So will Bainimarama and Aiyarse. When you see them being flushed out of some drainage pipe, remember this post.

    Your lawless regime is going down.

  42. Oracle your point is well taken. The fact is in all this war mongering and competition to see who pisses higher up the wall we the Fijian's suffer. Idiots like Khaiyum don't realize that there is more to be had by being "nice" then being a hard nosed idiot especially when we have an economy that depends heavily on these 2 countries. All the Australian unions need to do is stop all workers loading planes and boats and we are screwed to the bone. I don't understand some of these leaders. When Chaudhary was released from unlawful detention for example by Speight all he had to do to retain and grow his popularity amongst the i-taukei was to forgive George and give him a cabinet post. He would have become the most popular leader in Fiji's history. Fiji being Fiji admires the culture of forgiveness love and respect and we would have rewarded him with the same. Instead he chose the path of hatred and bitterness and look where he is today,applying to get his passport just to get medical treatment. The path of love and being civil goes a long way then being a hard nosed ass.


  43. Anon 4:55 PM.

    Mahend is incapable of forgiving anyone. He does not have the courage and the humility to do it.

    You are true when you said that if he forgave those who deposed him he would have gained many indigenous Fijian supporters.

  44. I like how everyone who RAN AWAY overseas comment on what's happening here in Fiji...We are better off than all of you..and to those of you who stay in Fiji and comment about how hard life is..you obviously haven't been overseas or you're just plain lazy..get your ass off the computer and go plant some dalo, tavioka and Bele or go catch a fish. The roads are getting fixed, Gov workers know that if you dont perform you get the sack no questions asked so they are on their toes, You can actually see the water authority workers doing major maintenance and repairs and in quick time to..Changing huge water pipes working 24 hours..

    I am a Fijian and I had and still have many chances to go and live comfortably an dearn big money in NZ, Aus, US but I chose to stay and help MY Fiji get back on her feet.

    Unions are good but they can also be bad for the economy if abused to the extent that company's cant survive due to Union demands...People have to understand that if you want the good life you have to work long and hard for it..dont expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter.

    If the current government is screwing the people over one way or the other then they will get what they deserve when the time comes.

  45. People 'RAN AWAY" for a LOT of reasons - financially, professionally, a better life for their families, being tortured and mistreated and so on.
    It is unfortunate that 'some lucky people" are commenting like they are doing. Someone is obviously lying here!!!!

  46. Scared and weak people run...real Fijians stand and fight...There's no such thing as "luck"....Everyone here in Fiji is working their asses off and struggling...but you know what? We're all still happy and manage that perfect smile, humor and humbleness...


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