FIJI NEWS

President’s plea

By LITIA MATHEWSELL Trade unionists need to address issues of all workers rather than working in the interest of a select few, says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Speaking at the
29 Oct 2012 13:22

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau

By LITIA MATHEWSELL

Trade unionists need to address issues of all workers rather than working in the interest of a select few, says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
Speaking at the Fiji Human Resources Institute’s 2012 Convention held at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca, Ratu Epeli said the only way the country’s productivity could be raised was across the board.
“I wish to reiterate Government’s concerns which the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama raised over the recent actions by some trade unionists. The action of these unionists in calling on the United States government to remove Fiji from the generalised system of preferences (GSP)trade list will undoubtedly affect the livelihood of thousands of Fijian workers and their respective families.
“I need to re-emphasise what we all know and understand that the private sector, including trade unions, must strive to address issues for the collective good of workers and the nation as a whole, instead of working in the interests of a select few.”
Ratu Epeli said from a national perspective, the challenge created by the few trade unionists was no longer a challenge just for Government to deal with alone.
“While we may agree that the union movement has a role to play in harnessing the power of workers to achieve greater productivity, Fiji, as a developing nation needs to guard against the work of some unionists who tend to use the union movement as a veil to achieving ulterior and self-serving motives.”
He stressed that everybody needed to play a part in helping Fiji develop.
“I now call upon you, as I call on all other responsible individuals and organisations, to use your technical skills and expertise to help address the interests and to contribute to the collective good of all workers around the country. Do this for the sake of our people and our nation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, as a way forward, a developing island state like Fiji does not really need to re-invent the wheel. We need to conduct our own observations and critical analysis of countries that have made the transition into highly-developed and prosperous economies. We need to know their recipes for success and adjust their methodologies to suit Fiji’s context.”




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