NATION

Tripartite Breakthrough

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC TV’s 4 the Record programme last night.   The tripartite agreement that averted a damaging Commission of Inquiry
15 Feb 2016 09:21
Tripartite Breakthrough
Fiji Trades Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony.

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC TV’s 4 the Record programme last night.

 

The tripartite agreement that averted a damaging Commission of Inquiry by the International Labour Organisation is a positive sign for the future of industrial relations in this country.

I wish to commend the trade unions, the employers and the Government for putting the national interest first.

On this note I want to especially mention Felix Anthony, the general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress. In the past we have disagreed on a number of issues including the confrontational stance of the FTUC. I had criticised the war of words between the trade unions and the  Government and strongly proposed dialogue as the only practical way to resolve contentious issues.

I am glad that Mr Anthony has given dialogue a chance and the outcome has been great.

What had seemingly looked impossible to achieve suddenly became possible. Eventually they signed an agreement that made everyone happy.

In reaching the agreement  there was a bit of give and take from all parties. It’s all part of spirit of consultation, negotiation and co-operation.

I wish to acknowledge the role of Mr Anthony. Without his acquiescence to the terms of the agreement, a settlement would not have been possible.

The Government negotiators too should be congratulated for bending backwards to accommodate the trade unions. And of course in the middle was Nesbitt Hazelman, representing the employers, who acted as a mediator for the trade unions and the Government.

The agreement forms the basis of the future of the country’s industrial relations. The tripartite agreement should be developed as the master document on which to build future agreements on pay and work conditions.

Like I have said before there should be a component of productivity in any agreement and it should be legally binding.

Once we do this we can expect peace and stability in our industrial relations.

Talking about peace and stability, there are signs that not all in well in the Opposition.

The motions of no confidence in the Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni and the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama show a desperate Opposition clutching at straws to try to rejuvenate its  preparation for the 2018 general election.

 

Village land lies spread

It’s all part of a destabilisation programme designed to divert attention from the real issues of the day.

The issues are the continuing impressive infrastructure developments that are happening around the country and a growing economy that testifies of good governance and policies that are attracting investments and stimulating economic growth.

Yet there are lies still being spread by some politicians. One is about the extension of the village boundaries. I just found out on Saturday some villagers really believed that they would lose land outside their village boundaries which they own.

Some politicians have been to the village concerned and deliberately misled the villagers that other races would move in to set up shop outside the village boundary.

This is preposterous. It is the hallmark of desperate politicians descending to the gutter level to appeal to the base instincts of the intake.

The truth is that the village boundary has been extended to cater for the growing population. It will provide more space for villagers to build new homes.

The land outside that still remains with them.

They continue to use it for their own purpose. I under stand that the process of extending boundaries in one province has been held up because the village elders have refused to sign the documents for fear of losing their land.

The danger is this that those villages which refuse to sign the documents will no longer be classified as villagers but settlements. The implications are quiet serious. The villages will lose all the advantages and assistance given by the Government via the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.

I appeal to those villages sitting on the fence to say yes and sign. There is nothing in this new move that suggests there is a sinister motive. To the politicians, please stop exploiting people’s ignorance and tell them the truth.

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