Analysis

Be Pro Fiji

Fiji Trades Union Congress want to hold their national strike on May 3, when ADB Board of Governors meeting and the Host Country reception will be held
23 Apr 2019 17:47
Be Pro Fiji
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Analysis:

The 52nd Asian Development Bank’s annual governors’ meet will be a success wheth­er the unions and unionists like it or not.

We are a week away from hosting the biggest international meeting and we will have the world’s eyes on Fiji. This is the time for everyone to rally behind the local secretariat and make this a success.

Unfortunately, Fiji Trades Union Congress and their affiliates want to use this as an opportunity to do something which is against the very core of being good hosts. They want to hold their national strike on May 3, which will be the day when one of the most important events of the ADB meet will be held – the Board of Governors meeting followed by the Host Country recep­tion.

More than 3000 people will be par­ticipating in these events and the unions want their members to stay away from work, whether they get the permit to go on strike or not. And there are already talks for peo­ple to use Family Care Leave and Sick Leave benefits to give their strike a chance.

This is where every Fijian has to stop and think. Is this what we want to be known for? Fiji has al­ways opened their arms to visitors. This meeting will open the doors to other international conferences and we need to be pro-Fiji to make it a success.

Why did Unions choose this day for their national strike? They want to hold this over the heads of employers as a bargaining chip. This goes against the ethos of ne­gotiating in good faith and this is really a time for some unionists to show that they are still relevant.

They want to target the hotels, to get their members to stay away from work. This can very well back­fire. The hotels have no doubt made back up arrangements to ensure everything works out smoothly.

No one is asking the unions not to protest. But to do it to embar­rass Fiji on the world stage is being purely anti-Fiji. Fiji can become the way the world should be.

Even with the threat of a national strike, this event will be a resound­ing success. Unionists need to real­ise this and not put their members in an awkward position.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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