NEWS

ANALYSIS: NFP Policies Woo Workers: Will They Cause More Damage or Bring a Desired Outcome?

This is the concluding part of his analysis on some of the policies of the National Federation Party. The new National Federation Party policies clearly target workers. It is appealing
07 Jun 2017 10:36
ANALYSIS: NFP Policies Woo Workers: Will They Cause More Damage or Bring a Desired Outcome?
Biman Prasad

This is the concluding part of his analysis on some of the policies of the National Federation Party.

The new National Federation Party policies clearly target workers.

It is appealing to the civil servants when leader Biman Prasad says NFP will remove contract-based employment in the civil service and ensure employment is permanent in nature.

Mr Prasad is promoting a “Living Wage” for a minimum of $200 a week or $5/hour net for those on a minimum wage.

This is more than what the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) has been campaigning for. The FTUC is seeking $4 an hour. Why the difference, one may ask.

This is the reason. The NFP is understood to be influenced by the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU), a rival of the FTUC. FICTU’s general secretary Attar Singh has always aligned himself with the NFP.

In the 2014 General Election FTUC’s general secretary Felix Anthony was the leader of the People’s Democratic Party which failed to win a seat. He resigned as leader after that and his political future is still unknown.

But the battle to bring workers under the wings of FTUC and FICTU continues.

The disparity in the minimum wage claims appear to be an attempt to outdo the opposition than actually thinking about its impact on workers, employers and the economy. Is it viable?

Some small businesses may not be able to afford the new pay rate. Jobs could be lost.

The NFP’s plan to do away with contracts is a retrograde step that will return the civil service back to the old ways.

It’s only objective is to undo what the FijiFirst Government has done in reforming the civil service.

Again the NFP is targeting the civil servants for votes.

Under the new reforms civil servants are expected to perform and promotion and pay rises are based on it.

In New Zealand, the Employment Contract Act was passed in 1991. This gave workers the choice whether they joined the collective (trade union) or opted for individual contract.

The move led to a drop in industrial strikes and disruptions and led to increased productivity. It also weakened trade unions.

This was followed by the Employment Relations Act 2000 which promoted mediation to resolve industrial disputes.

Maybe Mr Prasad needs to study the NZ experience before he goes ahead with his claims.

His plans will turn the clock back for the civil service and could force small businesses to go under, and jobs to be lost.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: