13 February 2013 – The ITF has echoed the Fiji Trades Union Congress’s welcome for the news that the CEO of Fijian national airline Air Pacific is to step down.
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho commented: “The departure of CEO David Pflieger is about more than just reversing the damage that has been done to morale and conditions at the airline; it’s also about Fiji’s hopes for democracy. Pflieger was intimately connected with the country’s infamous Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, a major tool used by the illegitimate military government to cling on to power.”
He continued: “Air Pacific, like Fiji itself, has been suffering from a deficit of democracy. It is to be hoped that the opportunity for change and progress will be grasped by the incoming CEO. He or she will certainly receive a warm welcome from the embattled workers of the airline if they make that their first priority.”
Fiji’s Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, was enacted in September 2011, despite warnings across the Asia Pacific region that it was illegal and incompatible with any attempt to return the nation to democracy.
Fiji’s government was installed by a coup in 2006. In 2009 the then president suspended the country’s constitution, dismissed the Court of Appeal and introduced public emergency regulations. These restrict freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly and have reportedly been used alongside a campaign of intimidation to silence opposition.
A statement by the FTUC on David Pflieger’s resignation can be seen at http://ftuc.org/ftuc-welcomes-air-pacifics-pfliegers-resignation/46-04-13-ftuc-press-release-12-02-13-2