BATTLE OVER FIJI AVIATION REFORM

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 19, 1999 - Fiji Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The House of Representatives yesterday approved the reorganization of the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji despite strong words of warning from Opposition MPs, the Fiji Times reports.

Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Reddy expressed concern over the recommendations of the Public Enterprise Act, saying there was no social safety net which the proposed 500 redundant (laid off) workers could fall back on.

He said assurances by the government on the restructure process were not good enough.

Mr. Reddy said it was unreasonable for the government to reorganize an entity that had made consistently high profits in recent years.

Fiji Labor Party leader (FLP) Mahendra Chaudhry said the FJ$ 20 million (US$ 10.3 million) that would meet the redundancy package of at least 500 workers to lose their jobs could have been used for internal restructuring instead.

The reorganization proposes to reduce the workforce from more than 800 to 292 in the new Airports Fiji, Ltd.

He said profits forecast by AFL had shown it would not make any difference to what CAAF was already recording financially.

Title -- 1935 ECONOMY: Fiji row over aviation reform Date -- 19 February 1999 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Fiji Times, 19/2/99 Copyright – FT Status – Abridged This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/

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