ABOUT 250 Air Terminal Services employees who are in a dispute with management have rejected a board offer to return to work.
They refused to accept conditions that came with the offer — that they admit they were wrong in leaving work last Saturday to attend an ATS Employers Trust meeting.
The ATSET maintains workers were locked out despite the Employment and Industrial Relations Minister saying the action taken by workers last Saturday was a strike.
As the stand-off entered its fourth day, the workers were adamant they would not return to work until Acting CEO Hare Mani was removed.
“What board chairperson Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said is he is ready to revert all the employees back to work on the condition that those 60 members sign a statement,” said ATSET secretary Vili Finau.
“We have discussed this issue and we have stated that in doing so, it would be as if we have accepted that we had gone on strike.
“And we would like to reiterate that we did not, we were locked out.
Mr Finau said they had informed Mr Sayed-Khaiyum that the employees were ready to return to work but without any conditions.
“That is the position of the trust – who are 49 per cent owners of the company.
“We will be writing to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stating our position.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the workers were given an ultimatum.
“We are giving them until tonight (last night), they can do it very quickly.
“It’s a short letter, I told them what needed to be said that ‘we the under-signed walked off our job, we did not give any notice, we shouldn’t have done that, it was a mistake and we now want to go back to work.’
“And as soon as they do that, they can go back to work.
“By law, it has to be acknowledged that they walked off their job.
“We are willing to take them back. They can start work tomorrow.
“The offer is for everyone.”
Courtsey – fijitimes 19 dec 2017