Global union the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today condemned the Fijian military government’s cynical pretence that its seizure of full ownership of the island’s Air Pacific airline is in the national interest.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: "Aviation is essential to the national economy of Fiji. Running an airline is a high risk, high budget exercise where safety comes at a price. This is yet another ham-fisted act of aggression which is typical from a regime which consistently fails to act in the national interest.
"We've got real concerns as a result of this move. The Bainimarama regime is now waging war on aviation standards. This latest action should be a real concern for the travelling public, ITF aviation workers in the region and airlines generally. The region is now on red alert."
ITF general secretary David Cockroft explained: “The military government, which is widely seen as holding power illegally, appears to be making another desperate grab for anything going before retreating further into its bunker ahead of the elections promised for this year.”
He continued: “The workers of Air Pacific deserve better than to be treated as pawns in Bainimarama’s dangerous games. Neither they nor the wider aviation world are being given any idea of how this will affect either them or the airline itself.”
“If the military government were truly acting in the national interest, it would cease its anti-democratic rampage and immediately repudiate, and make amends for, its attacks on trade unions and civil society.”
For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871