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Labour Reform Reaps Benefits: Usamate

Minister for Employment Jone Usamate says that since the completion of a labour reform, industrial relations practices in Fiji have improved. Mr Usamate said this was through the new Employment
16 Mar 2018 10:00
Labour Reform Reaps Benefits: Usamate
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

Minister for Employment Jone Usamate says that since the completion of a labour reform, industrial relations practices in Fiji have improved.

Mr Usamate said this was through the new Employment Relations Act (ERA) which have significantly improved Fiji’s industrial relations climate.

The minister said the employment relations machinery in Fiji had taken a more universal dimension, brought about by pressures from the global economy.

He said the new employment law had seen a shift in the way the ministry managed and resolved conflicts, and how the stakeholders interacted with each other while trying to resolve disputes at the workplace.

He said the new labour reform was designed to establish labour standards which were fair to workers and employers and prevented discrimination in workplaces by introducing equal employment opportunities.

He said the current law focusesd on building employment relationships between our workers and employers that were based on mutual trust, respect, dignity and fair dealing.   

Mr Usamate said the ministry had a brand new culture of conflict resolution through dialogue and good faith.

“There have been ‘no’ legal strikes in Fiji since the inception of the law 10 years ago,’’ Mr Usamate said.

“From 2003 to 2008 we had a total of 60 strikes under the old law.  From 2008 till to date two strikes have been recorded, but was declared unlawful as the workers had walked off their work without completing the necessary processes.”

The shift in conflict resolution resulted in consistent achievement of a mediation settlement rating  of above 80 per cent which is higher than the international best practice benchmark of 75 per cent.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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