Clear Case Of Unions Misleading Their Members

Every project has a budget, every project needs peo­ple. This in no way means that there are no jobs for Fijians.
02 May 2019 16:48
Clear Case Of Unions Misleading Their Members
Fiji Trade Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony at FTUC office in Suva on May 1, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.


Let’s get one thing straight- Water Authority of Fiji is not the first company in the world to have project-based employment and it most certain­ly will not be the last.

Other international organisations such as the AusAID, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and many others have a number of their ap­pointments purely on a short-term contract basis.

That is the way for all companies that work on pro­jects operate. There is absolutely nothing untoward about it.

Why are the unionists such as Felix Anthony making a huge hue and cry about this issue and completely blowing it out of proportion?

Maybe because it suits their agenda.

This is the WAF issue in a nutshell:

Most of WAF’s projects are short term. Of course it would be. Fijians expect that WAF projects start and end in a timely manner. We expect WAF to fix up their projects and move on. They have always done this. Once one major project ends, they move on to other projects, but each project requires certain skill sets.

WAF has already advertised the vacancies for the next projects and those who have worked on WAF projects previously will be given priority given their experience.

What do other organisations do?

An example of how the Australians carried out post-TC Winston rehabilitation work is apt in this scenario. They had a budget and a timeline to do their work. They hired people on short-term contracts for that. And, in their case, because the work was done well within budget, some of the money was given to those employed on the projects.

They are not the only ones to do this. Most reputable organisations regularly advertise short-term projects, they hire either project workers or consultants.

Nobody expects them to keep the staff employed on a full time basis and pay them salaries even when there is no work.


On one hand we want Government bodies to perform to the best of their abilities, not misuse funds and on the other hand we expect them to keep hundreds of people on the payroll even when there is no work for them.

How does that make any sense?

Every project has a budget, every project needs peo­ple. This in no way means that there are no jobs for Fijians.

This seems to be a clear case of unions misleading their members. It does no one any good, least of all their own members.



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