NEWS

Water Authority of Fiji: Irresponsible Unions Misleading Fiji

“The National Union of Workers (NUW) are making deliberate attempts to mislead Fijians by giving them incorrect information and are causing fear and confusion,” Mr Kumar said.
30 Apr 2019 12:18
Water Authority of Fiji: Irresponsible Unions Misleading Fiji
WAF board chairperson, Bhavesh Kumar, WAF board director, Kamal Gounder and WAF board director, Hemant Kumar during a site inspection at the Vaturu Dam. Photo: Water Authority of Fiji

Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) Board Chairman Bhavesh Kumar has urged union leaders to put the needs of ordinary Fijians before their personal agendas.

The chairman highlighted recent comments made in the media by prominent union leaders as false and irresponsible.

“The National Union of Workers (NUW) are making deliberate attempts to mislead Fijians by giving them incorrect information and are causing fear and confusion,” Mr Kumar said.

“Unions have started touting the lie that 600 WAF workers have been terminated, which is completely untrue. Most of them have in fact successfully passed their performance assessments, and WAF’s Human Resources team is in the process of renewing their contracts.”

The unions have also recently claimed that 2900 were going to be mass terminated. Nobody is being terminated.

“Again this is completely fake news. Nobody is being terminated. WAF hires workers for particular projects regularly and their contracts end. In fact we extended their contracts for six months and absorbed them in other projects as a gesture of goodwill,” Mr Kumar said.

“Imagine WAF is conducting a water project in Taveuni, The project will take six months to complete. We would hire workers from Taveuni for that six-month period.

“This is exactly what has happened here, the contracts are coming to an end.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine what our employees and their families have gone through these past few days after reading the fake news published about their termination.”

In September 2018 WAF had signed a collective agreement with NUW after a lengthy collective bargaining process.

“WAF from our end showed good faith in negotiating the rights and entitlements under this agreement.

“However, the unions then went to WAF employees and told them that signing this collective agreement meant that they did not have to sign a contract.

“This is ridiculous. In what world does an employee not have to sign a contract?”

“Union members must seriously ask themselves why the union has lied to them like this?

Clearly, the union doesn’t have their best interest at heart.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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