Release date: 22/12/2017

TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 22 December 2017
The Transport Workers’ Union of Australia is calling on the Federal Government to intervene over disruption and safety risks at Fiji airports. The TWU is concerned about Australian tourists travelling to Fiji after reports that untrained workers without police checks are working in secure areas of airports.

The reports follow requests by airlines to travellers to bring their own food onboard because airport operations are being disrupted after airport staff were locked out of their jobs a week ago.
“The Australian Government must intervene to ensure against safety risks to Australian tourists travelling to Fiji because of untrained workers being brought in without proper police clearance to work in secure areas of the airports. The Australian Government must also take responsibility in ensuring its residents are not caught up in the middle of militant action by the Government-run Air Terminal Services against its own staff,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
Air Terminal Services last week locked out hundreds of its ground crew, including baggage handlers, check-in staff, engineers and caterers, after they attended a meeting over mismanagement and appalling conditions at the company, including sexual harassment and staff driven into poverty because of an 11-year pay freeze.
The TWU is calling on the Federal Government to prevent visas from being issued to workers sent from Australia to Fiji to replace the locked out employees.
“We have reports of airlines passengers are being asked to bring their own food on board. We have reports of untrained staff at airports injuring other workers. This situation is getting more serious by the day. Travellers to Fiji from Australia should reconsider their plans,” said Sheldon.

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