NEWS

Minister Koroilavesau ‘Optimistic’

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau is optimistic the unions will sign a Government document before the Industrial Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting in Geneva next month.
28 Oct 2015 12:52
Minister Koroilavesau ‘Optimistic’
Minister for employment and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau is optimistic the unions will sign a Government document before the Industrial Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting in Geneva next month.

He said since his appointment and with the support of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, he had been meeting with union leaders and members and the responses were positive.

“I went to all divisions to meet with union leaders and workers,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

He is yet to meet with the Fiji Trade Union Congress (FTUC) general secretary Felix Anthony who is away in Singapore.

“I’ve have been contacting him in Singapore and he had advised me to talk to Daniel Urai and Agni Deo Singh as they represented him,” he said.

He said he had used a totally different approach by going to the unions to hear their grievances and also briefed them on Government’s stance.

He said the union leaders he met were happy and the buck now rested on Mr Anthony.

He said he was preparing a document and would like all the union leaders to sign to take with him to Geneva on November 4 for the ILO meeting.

“I will be meeting Mr Anthony as soon as he arrives into the country and he has agreed to that.”

He said he was glad to report that there was goodwill between the two parties.

Currently, he said, there was a split in the unions as the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation supported Government’s decision not to support an ILO commission of inquiry into Fiji.

Federation chief executive officer Nesbitt Hazelman had told the media the result could be very bad in terms of trade.

Mr Koroilavesau said those supporting a commission of inquiry should look at the welfare of their members who would be affected by any trade barriers or any trade ban or any industrial actions in Fiji.

In an earlier media release Mr Anthony said his organisation was supporting the commission of inquiry because the Government had failed to meet promises made in a tripartite agreement collectively agreed to by Government, FCEF and FTUC in Geneva earlier this year.

The FTUC, he said, maintained their claims that workers’ rights had been removed by draconian decrees and the ILO had warned the Government to correct this.

Mr Koroilavesau leaves for the ILO meeting in Geneva on November 4 and will be accompanied by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary and a lawyer from the Solicitor-General’s Office.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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