Opinion

Follow The Law In Upholding Your Rights

Essential Services under the labour laws include the banking sector, the civil service, employees of statutory organisations such as Water Authority of Fiji and Energy Fiji Limited must follow the time limit for a strike notice. Once the dispute is referred to the Min­ister of Employment under the Act, the dispute is referred for compulsory arbi­tration.
02 May 2019 16:54
Follow The Law In Upholding Your Rights
The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj.

Opinion:

There have been reports that there will be a national strike on 3 May. From a human rights perspec­tive, the Fijian Constitution under sec­tion 20 (1) guarantees that every person has the right to fair employment prac­tices, including humane treatment and proper working conditions, subsection as well as the right of every worker to form or join a trade union, participate in its activities and programmes.

However, subsection (5) (e) (f) of sec­tion 20 of the Constitution also places the following limitation on that right that for the purposes of regulating col­lective bargaining processes, provid­ing mechanisms for the resolution of employment disputes and grievances, and regulating strikes and lockouts and for the purposes of regulating essential services and industries, in the overall interests of the Fijian economy and the citizens of Fiji.

The law limits the way in which essen­tial services and industries are regu­lated and also the way in which collec­tive bargaining is regulated. Under the Trade Disputes Act, there is a very clear process for the settling of disputes and grievances.

Essential Services under the labour laws include the banking sector, the civil service, employees of statutory organisations such as Water Authority of Fiji and Energy Fiji Limited must follow the time limit for a strike notice. Once the dispute is referred to the Min­ister of Employment under the Act, the dispute is referred for compulsory arbi­tration.

This allows dispute settlement and grievances ventilated before an inde­pendent tribunal.

This procedure protects the public from disruption of essential services and therefore protects the rights and freedoms of others in society.

I would urge all parties to exercise good sense and adherence to the law in the settling of any labour grievances which might exist as well as upholding fundamental human rights.

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper