Reinstatement of airline workers: Major relief for hundreds of workers

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Fiji Flight Attendants Trade Union president Joe McGowan. Picture: File

The Fiji Flight Attendants Union has labeled the announcement of reinstatement of axed workers by Fiji Airways a major relief for hundreds of families.

Union president Joe McGowan expressed relief at this most recent development and confirmed that they have been working with airline executives on the reinstatement of workers who were axed during the pandemic in 2020.

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen told 320 human rights practitioners in Nadi at the weekend that 240 of those workers would return to work soon.

“We are glad that this process is happening,” Mr McGowan said.

“Well, as you can imagine there is a lot of emotion there, but on the whole, people are also quite relieved and happy that we are finally getting some resolutions.

“There are hundreds of families that have been given the opportunity to have their family members back in the airline and their capabilities stabilised somewhat.”

Mr McGowan said the bulk of those soon-to-be reinstated workers were union members and cabin crews.

He also acknowledged Mr Viljoen and airline executives for reaching an amicable solution and explained they would continue to work together on a start date.

When asked on whether they also negotiated conditions in their recent meetings, Mr McGowan mentioned that the main thing was getting the workers back to work.

“We can deal with that once people are back at work.”

At the final day of the 2023 BSP Life Fiji Human Resource Institute convention in Nadi, Mr Viljoen explained the procedures the airline embarked on to ensure its survival during the pandemic period.

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