NEWS

Minister Jone Usamate Labels Unionists’ Withdrawal as Betrayal

A decision by trade unionists to withdraw from the Employment Relations Advisory Board is a betrayal of their duty towards the members they represent says Minister for Employment, Jone Usamate.
29 Sep 2018 12:38
Minister Jone Usamate Labels  Unionists’ Withdrawal as Betrayal
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

A decision by trade unionists to withdraw from the Employment Relations Advisory Board is a betrayal of their duty towards the members they represent says Minister for Employment, Jone Usamate.

Fiji Trades Union Congress national secretary Felix Anthony confirmed they had withdrawn.

“The executive committee has decided not to have any forums with the Government because it is just a waste of time,” Mr Anthony said.

To this, Mr Usamate said: “The labour laws were agreed to by the Government and the FTUC together with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and that obviously is not a waste of time.”

Mr Usamate highlighted that the Employment Relations Advisory Board and the National Employment Centre Board had endorsed the new National Employment Policy.

He said the work of the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Board focused on the health and safety of all workers in this country.

“Any discussions on these kinds of matters are definitely not a waste of time,” Minister Usamate said.

“I would expect that representatives of workers will continue to engage in these forums because they deal with matters that are important to all workers.

“To do anything else would basically mean abandoning the interest of those they purport to fight for and that is precisely what decision by FTUC amounts.”

Mr Usamate urged the FTUC members to reconsider their decision for the benefit of unionised workers.

“Government will continue to pursue the best interests of all workers in Fiji. Every single one of them,” the minister said.

Edited by Percy Kean

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