NEWS

Pregnant 2 In Row Over Jobs

Two pregnant workers from separate insurance firms are at the centre of a row that has shocked Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union. Union National Secretary, Sailesh Naidu said
11 Mar 2017 10:49
Pregnant  2  In Row Over Jobs
Pregnant

Two pregnant workers from separate insurance firms are at the centre of a row that has shocked Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union.

Union National Secretary, Sailesh Naidu said within the last three months the two cases were bought to their attention.

“One woman was in the middle of her pregnancy and her employment was terminated,” said Mr Naidu.

Mr Naidu said just this week, on the eve of International Women’s Day (March 7) another woman who was three months pregnant was told to resign from her work place by the 13th of this month. She is still currently at work.

Mr Naidu said the incidents were over some employment issues.  He could not divulge details because mediation proceedings were underway. If the mediation fails, the issue would go to the Employment Relations Tribunal.

The woman who first lodged her report recently gave birth and the second one who was three months pregnant was expecting her first child, he said.

He said the women worked at prominent insurance companies.

“It is a concern to the union that such incidents are happening,” he said.

“We want to tell our members in the finance and insurance industry that we are taking this kind of matters very seriously.”

He said apart from looking at the terms and conditions of their members, the union “is also a custodian of basic human rights which includes women’s rights.”

“My statement today is an awareness to the workers and employers that this type of activities still happened at the workplace. It is a very serious concern and we are going to take serious action,” he said.

Mr Naidu said workers should be more cautious when women were going through the process of pregnancy and childbirth.

Immediate Past President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Howard Politini, said he didn’t understand the full circumstances regarding this incident whether it was related to health.

“But I do know that women are entitled to maternity leave so it sounds a little extraordinary,” said Mr Politini.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Co-ordinator Shamima Ali said such incidents shouldn’t be happening and it was against the Constitution of this country.

“Our Employment Relations Promulgation Act is very strong and if any employer is doing this then they should be taken to task,” said Ms Ali.

Workers from 19 organisations in the banking and insurance sector make up the 1300 union members.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: mere.satakala@fijisun.com.fj



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