“We expect the government to wake up and act on the ATS dispute as soon as possible.”
These were the words of FTUC General Secretary Felix Anthony who has reiterated that the march today in Nadi is in support of the ATS workers who are locked out.
He has also stated that the Prime Minister would do well to address the real issue and resolve the dispute then politicize the issues as the Unions have always been prepared to talk and negotiate.
Anthony says that the government can expect more from the ATS workers and the Unions of this country if it does not change its decision on the dispute adding that they are also considering further action such as international campaign if the dispute is not resolved soon.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had earlier stated that he feels sad to see that the interests of some unionists and politicians have been put ahead of many of our people, particularly those working in Nadi.
Bainimarama said that he fears the march will simply be another opportunity for those seeking relevance ahead of the elections to try and gain political mileage on the backs of ordinary Fijians.
When questioned by Fijivillage whether or not the march is being politicized, Anthony says that the march and protest are not being politicized as every citizen has the right to protest and people from different political parties are also taking part in the march.
Anthony has also claimed that teachers have been under pressure from Police as they are being stopped from participating in the march adding that Police are inspecting buses to look for teachers intending to be part of the march today.
Police Chief of Operations ACP Rusiate Tudravu has clarified that the claims of stopping teachers are absolutely false and as they are also still in the festive operation period and Operation Yalodei is still underway so this is all part of normal operations.
He says as for security in general for the march Police have also factored in and are very mindful of the fact that it is a busy day in Nadi and people have families who will be coming to town to conduct their back to school shopping.
Tudravu has also stated that the permit that has been issued clearly states the requirements and those intending to participate should not be too concerned about the police presence as they should be well versed with what is required of them and the need to abide by the law.
Meanwhile, more than 3000 people were part of the march this morning.
Politicians that were also part of the march include FLP Leader, Mahendra Chaudry, Former PDP leader, Lynda Tabuya, Chief of Bau, Ratu Apenisa Cakobau and FLP member, Lavenia Padarath,Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.