FIJI UNION WORKERS DODGE DECREE, PAY DUES IN CASH

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Regime forbade union deductions from paychecks

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 10, 2011) – Many of Fiji’s public servants are clubbing together and paying their union dues in cash following the interim government’s decision to stop deducting subs from civil servants’ pay packets.

The regime’s move had earlier drawn criticism from unions who said it was another show of contempt and discrimination for unions.

The Fiji Public Service Association’s General Treasurer Karam Bidesi says the new system’s been operating for just one week but already government workers are showing their initiative in ensuring their 3 Fiji dollar dues are paid.

But he says the association’s looking at cost cutting in case the end of deductions result in less income.

"We haven’t cut costs yet but we are looking at strategies in case we don’t receive these subs. I think we are trying our best, the branches are doing their best. Even the members, they are doing their collections in the workplaces."

Karam Bidesi says any cost cutting won’t mean a change in benefits for the Association’s four thousand members.

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