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  • Writer's pictureNational Federation Party - Fiji

05 November 2015: Fiji Times – FICTU steadfast

FICTU steadfast Siteri Sauvakacolo Thursday, November 05, 2015 THE Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU) has remained steadfast preferring not to sign the tripartite agreement believing it will be a gross injustice to workers in the country. FICTU, which has 20 affiliates, said it would await the decision of the International Labour Organization, which meets on November 11. FICTU general secretary Attar Singh said it was important for the Fijian people to note that the tripartite agreement, which they did not sign, did not include two of the key issues the ILO Committee of Experts had noted. “One is that the Political Party Decree of 2012 restricts freedom of trade unionists and trade union employees in political party activity, secondly, the committee of experts has pointed out that the 2013 Constitution although it was in its draft format at that time has caveats on freedom of association which are to do with workers’ rights,” Mr Singh said. “That agreement is a sellout, not only that, that agreement is ambiguous.” Mr Singh said they had demanded in the Employment Relations Advisory Board meeting last month that they would only sign once proposals to these amendments were made. “We cannot allow and we will not sign an agreement that does not say anything about amendment to what we had required because we have a duty to the future generation of workers,” Mr Singh explained. FICTU in its letter to the ILO director general said over the three days of the Employment Relations Advisory board meeting in Suva last month, they had argued that their proposed amendments if included in the Joint Implementation Report would satisfy them and would go a long way to settle the issues in dispute. The letter stated Government had rejected their proposals and instead made only minor and insignificant changes to the proposed JIR. The letter outlined that FICTU’S key concerns remain unresolved and would not be resolved by the JIR signed only by the Government and employers representatives. One of the recommendations of the ILO earlier this year, was for the parties — Government, employers and union to work together in signing an implementation report, which did not eventuate failing to meet deadline of October 15. Employment Minister Semi Koroilavesau said he respected FICTU’S stand on the issue. “FICTU’S views is totally different from FTUC because he (Mr Singh) believes there are already a lot of issues that were supposed to be addressed but then the FTUC has a different position to FICTU,” Mr Koroilavesau said. “I respect their decision and it is my job to try and work with all parties and make sure that all parties are happy so in that decision we will come back from Geneva and try and work it out for him.”



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