AIR PACIFIC AIRCRAFT TAKES OFF FOR FIJI DESPITE UNION BANS

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SYDNEY, Australia (May 29, 2000 – Radio Australia)---An Air Pacific aircraft with 143 passengers on board has managed to take off from Australia for Fiji, despite the imposition of union bans.

The Boeing 747 was due to leave at 1:00 p.m. today eastern Australian time, but Transport Workers Union members initially had refused to refuel the aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Maritime Workers Union reports that dock workers in the southern city of Melbourne are refusing to handle more than 50 containers, bound for Suva, on the ship Colombus Queensland.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions, and all the unions involved in the action, are holding a meeting to assess further moves.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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