LABOR OFFICIAL CALLS FIJI MEETING ‘A SUCCESS’

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International organization has condemned regime abuses

By Nasik Swami and Repeka Nasiko SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Aug. 16, 2011) - It is important to have dialogue with the Fijian government, trade unions and the employer to resolve current problems says International Labour Organization (ILO) director country office for South Pacific Island Countries, David Lamotte.

This comes after a high profiled delegation from the ILO met the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, trade unions and various other stakeholders regarding the issues surrounding the new Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree 2011.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reports "the decree now restricts a union’s efforts to obtain registration as a representative of a Bargaining Unit, a union’s efforts to influence the outcome of collective bargaining, and be involved in disputes over the interpretation or application of any collective agreements. Anyone failing to comply shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 50,000 Fiji dollars or five years imprisonment or both, and in the case of a union to a fine not exceeding 100,000 Fiji dollars.]

Lamotte said the delegation had a successful meeting with the Fijian government and relevant stakeholders during their three day talks.

He confirmed a full report of their discussions has been handed to the director general of ILO Juan Somavia who will be making further recommendations on Fiji’s current situation.

He said the director general is keen that these three parties can actually resolve the type of problems that exist in Fiji.

Lamotte said he had some concerns and he wanted the ILO to be constructive so he sent the mission to Fiji.

He stressed ILO wants to work with Tripartite Agreement which includes dialogues with government, workers and employers.

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