NEWS

Fiji Police: No Permit For May 4 March

The issues are national minimum wage, delay in labour law reforms, right to strike, Vatukoula strike, unresolved FASA issues and opposing unilateral imposition of individual contracts.
27 Apr 2019 10:20
Fiji Police: No Permit For May 4 March
Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) General Secretary Felix Anthony

Police have not received any application from the Fiji Trades Union Congress for a permit to march in Nadi on May 4.

The FTUC has also not informed the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations of its plan for a national day of protest on May 3, it is understood.

The two events coincide with the country hosting the big Asian Development Bank meeting which will bring delegates from around the world.

The delegates will be attending the ADB annual meeting at Denarau, Nadi from May 1 to 5.

Chief Operations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Maretino Qiolevu confirmed the FTUC had not applied for a permit.

In a statement yesterday, FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said the congress’ key office bearers met on Wednesday and decided that the national protest would go ahead on May 3.

Mr Anthony said the national protest march would also go ahead on May 4 in Nadi.

He said all affiliates had been requested to continue planning and preparing for the two key events that the union must undertake to continue raising its disappointment with Government on six issues.

The issues are national minimum wage, delay in labour law reforms, right to strike, Vatukoula strike, unresolved FASA issues and opposing unilateral imposition of individual contracts.

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“There are some unions that may need to go on protest earlier than May 3 as we have received information of massive layoffs,” said Mr Anthony.

Meanwhile, hotel properties on Denarau Island in Nadi are prepared for the Asian Development Bank meeting next week.

Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas and The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa said yesterday that final preparations were running smoothly for the meeting.

Multi Property Vice President for Fiji and Samoa Marriott International and General Manager Westin and Sheraton Resorts Fiji Complex Neeraj Chadha said everything was on track with their teams eagerly prepared to welcome the ADB delegates, media and dignitaries.

Mr Chadha said it was the first time this event had been held in the region with 3000 decision-makers from economic, financial and development industries gathering to exchange views with the aim of promoting knowledge sharing, partnership and co-operation.

“This event will proudly showcase Fiji on the world- wide stage,” he said.

“It is an opportunity to show this nation’s pride, generosity and good nature and any planned strike efforts would send the wrong message and could be detrimental to future business opportunities and our country’s reputation for future events.

We’re very excited to be the host hotel for this prestigious event.”

The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association is hoping that hotel workers will not be a part of the national day of protest.

Considering that most delegates for the meeting will stay at hotels in Denarau, there would be chaos if hotel workers are a part of the protest. It is believed that trade unions have told their members working in different sectors to take Family Care Leave or call in sick on that day.

FHTA president Dixon Seeto said the association was hoping there would be no disruption to hotel services from the planned national day of protest.

At its board meeting last Thursday, the association discussed the planned protest by the FTUC. Last week, FTUC president and National Union of Hotel and Catering Employees general secretary, Daniel Urai said the protest would go ahead on May 3 as planned, but he did not reveal other details.

Mr Seeto said the association was hopeful that good sense would prevail and the matter would be solved amicably.

“We are hoping there will be no disruption. We also have our reputation and economy to be mindful of,” he said.

Mr Seeto said the association would obviously discuss the matter with labour organisations it was in contact with.

He said the association was certainly hoping that the hotel workers would not go out.

When asked about the contingency plans by hotels should hotel workers join the protest, he said, “Any contingency plan has to be worked out by the hotels.

“We are getting into the busy period. The first quarter was lean and the bookings are looking good now,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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