NEWS

SODELPA Divided Over Protest

The protest has been organised by the Fiji Trades Union Congress, which requested its affiliates last Friday to continue planning and preparing for the national protest, which will coincide with the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors meeting in Nadi.
01 May 2019 12:36
SODELPA Divided Over Protest
Opposition Member of Parliament Lynda Tabuya outside Parliament. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

SODELPA is divided on whether to support the Fiji Trades Union Congress plan for a national day of protest on Friday and a planned march on Saturday.

One group led by trade union advocate Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya wants the party to come out openly and back the FTUC.

But the opposing group, it is understood, wants it to be an individual choice. It believes the party cannot be seen to be taking a negative position at a time when the Asian Development Bank is holding its annual general meeting at Denarau beginning today.

It says too much is at stake and there could be political repercussions. Last year the party backed the ATS strike in Nadi and the subsequent march through Nadi Town.

No official comment could be obtained from the party yesterday.

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad was supportive of the May 3 proposed protest.

Speaking from New Zealand, he claimed that Government had not treated the trade union movement with respect.

“The Government has not negotiated in good faith since the last two or three years so obviously the unions are angry about what’s going on in the country with respect to worker’s rights and their benefits so the unions have a right to protest.”

Some trade unions have left it on their members to decide whether they want to participate in the national protest on Friday or not.

The protest has been organised by the Fiji Trades Union Congress, which requested its affiliates last Friday to continue planning and preparing for the national protest, which will coincide with the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors meeting in Nadi.

One of the largest trade unions in the country, the Fiji Public Service Association indicated yesterday that it was not involved in the organising of the protests.

FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the protest was being organised by the FTUC.

“Like every other union, we have left it on our members to decide for themselves what they want to do,” he said.

The FPSA has 3500 members from Government statutory bodies and the civil service.

Also, the Fiji Local Government Officers Association said it has not discussed with its members the national protest planned by the Fiji Trades Union Congress on Friday.

FLGOA president Rouhit Singh said the association has left it on its members to decide for themselves whether they want to be part of the protest or not.

The association has 260 members at the Nausori, Labasa, Lautoka, Ba, Nadi and Sigatoka municipal councils.

“We have never spoken about the protest to any of our members and if they want to join then it’s up to them,” said Mr Singh.

“We know what are the issues but going for protest means they have to take either Family Care Leave, sick leave or annual leave.

“But the thing is how many people can take Family Care Leave, sick leave or annual leave on one day.

“How will the municipal councils approve Family Care Leave or annual leave applications by the workers? So we have just left it on the members to make their own decision.”

Mr Singh said the issues were very much at the association’s heart and that the Government should also move and hold talks with the unions to resolve things amicably.

He said the national minimum wage issue was not affecting the FLGOA members as municipal council workers received more than $4 hour.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedbackrosi.doverata@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: