Unfortunate for Prime Minister to accuse politicians

atsNATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad says it is highly unfortunate for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to accuse and malign politicians and unionists.

Prof Prasad made this comment in response to a statement made by Mr Bainimarama during the commissioning of the Navuca Rural Electrification project in Tailevu yesterday.

In his speech, Mr Bainimarama said there were many cheap politicians around who were not interested in people’s wellbeing, but were instead interested in making headlines and building a campaign platform for this year’s election.

He claimed these same politicians and unionists had been visiting and providing assistance to the 250 workers in an impasse with Air Terminal Services (ATS) management.

In his response, Prof Prasad said Mr Bainimarama had blatantly disregarded the plight of the workers who owned 49 per cent of the ATS shares.

“Here is a Prime Minister who has done the very opposite of what he has been preaching — common and equal citizenry and that no one will be left behind,” Prof Prasad said.

“The PM has called us cheap politicians. Yes, we are cheap in the sense that we are not on a salary of over $328,000 annually, do not get an average of $3000 daily in allowances for overseas travel and always fly first class when traveling overseas like him,” he claimed.

“We are cheap because we earn only $50,000 per year, use our personal resources to help the needy in whatever little form we can and have provided humanitarian assistance to the ATS workers to bring smiles to their faces and those of their families and children during the festive season.”

Opposition spokesperson for defence Mosese Bulitavu said no political party was involved in the ATS lockout, but political party representatives, churches, NGOs and communities visited the workers to show their support.

“This was a humanitarian visit by different parts of our society to help the workers and their families through the festive period,” Mr Bulitavu said.