Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: Alert: East Timor workers to strike against Australian-owned company

URGENT PRESS RELEASE

SECOND AND FINAL NOTICE TO TIMOR AVIATION SERVICES

FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO AVOID INDUSTRIAL ACTION IN EAST TIMOR

To: International Media, Labour And Solidarity Organisations

From: Maritime and Transport Union of East Timor (UMTTL) andTimor Lorosae Trade Union Confederation (TLTUC)

2 October 2003

The East Timorese Transport Workers Union and Trade Union Confederation seek an urgent and immediate resolution to an ongoing industrial dispute that began when Australian-owned Timor Aviation Services, based in Dili, unfairly dismissed two employees in the midst of negotiations.

Over many months, the Union had been negotiating in good faith with the company to finalise salary increases and improve working conditions after the company had frozen wages for a period of almost three years.

Sabino L Adornia and Clementihno Pereira were dismissed on 4th of September 2003. The two sacked workers were also the Union workplace delegates who had been representing all TAS workers in the negotiation of a collective agreement.

The Union and the Confederation have exhausted all available options to re-instate the two and have now issued TAS a final opportunity to avoid industrial action.

This declaration follows four weeks of combined efforts by the Union, the Confederation and the East Timor Government's Department of Labour and Solidarity to return the two employees to work. The company has so far ignored their obligations and refused to reinstate the workers, despite receiving a directive from the Government to do so on three separate occasions.

On Tuesday, 30 September, the Department of Labour again instructed Timor Aviation Services to reinstate the dismissed workers. The directive was refused.

The Union makes three demands of TAS:

. Immediately reinstate the two dismissed workers; . Sign the Collective Agreement as negotiated by the Union delegates; and . Issue the outstanding salary increases due to employees.

If the Company does not accept the Union's demands by the 2nd of October, workers employed Timor Aviation Services will exercise their legislated right to strike beginning on Friday the 3rd of October 2003 at 5.30 am, at the President Nicolao Lobato International Airport, in Dili, East Timor.

Timor Aviation Services (www.timoraviation.com) is owned and operated by Australian nationals, who show little regard for the laws of either the fledging nation of East Timor or their country of origin. TAS provides freight handling, customs and charter services to the Australian Defence Force, Qantas, Harvey World Travel and numerous air companies that service oil, gas, mining industries and non-government organisations operating in both Australia and East Timor.

The East Timor Trade Union Confederation has warned that their affiliateD unions and the workers of East Timor will not tolerate any attempt by TAS to break the strike through the hiring of replacement workers. The TLTUC will not allow TAS to endanger the good will, cooperation and mutual respect that East Timor workers, businesses and Government have worked so hard to forge over the last three years.

Please direct any questions regarding this industrial dispute to:

Rigo Monteiro (TLTUC): + 670 723 6276 in East Timor or secretariat@tltuc.org Didge MacDonald (LHMU): +418 852 545

Jim Mellor on behalf of UMTTL and TLTUC jmellor@austarnet.com.au nteunion@cyllene.uwa.edu.au 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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