Fiji Airports Limited, which manages both of Fiji's international airports in Nadi (Western division) and Nausori (Central division), released a statement on Monday, March 25, indicating that it had reached a resolution with air traffic controllers to revise its procedures. Fiji Airports Limited further claimed reported that most controllers are working and has urged those who remain on unscheduled leave to return immediately.
Meanwhile, representatives for the air traffic controllers have denied claims of a deal with Fiji Airports Limited as talks reportedly failed to materialize after airport officials refused to meet with them. The Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA) trade union, which maintains its members are not striking but are instead taking leave, has called for an inquiry into the dispute.
Flight delays and cancelations are to be expected in Fiji during and immediately following the work stoppage. Additional strike actions by air traffic controllers and consequent flight disruptions are possible over the coming days and weeks if their demands are not met.
Air traffic controllers took unscheduled leave beginning on March 18, demanding higher pay and better working conditions. Their protest has prompted safety concerns due to overworking of remaining on-duty personnel.
On March 20, the Employment Ministry declared that the air traffic controllers' taking of unscheduled leave was unlawful because no notice of a secret ballot was provided to the Registrar of Trade Unions for a strike mandate.
Individuals flying via Fijian airports are advised to monitor developments to the situation, prepare for flight disruptions, confirm flight reservations before departing for the airport, and contact their airline for more information.
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