International Labour Organization To Monitor Fiji Labor Laws

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Minister calls oversight of implementation ‘par for the course’

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 31, 2016) – Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity Minister Semi Koroilavesau said recent comments made by the Fiji Trades Union Congress that the International Labour Organization would closely monitor the implementation of recently amended labour laws was par for the course.

FTUC general secretary Felix Anthony said the ILO Governing Body would continue to monitor the situation in Fiji.

Mr Anthony said the focus would be on how the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 was implemented.

Mr Anthony said while the signing of a joint agreement between the Government, FTUC and the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation and subsequent passing of amended labour laws was a significant step forward, the ability of workers to exercise their rights under the new law was the true test.

"What Mr Anthony is saying is the normal monitoring mechanism that is done by ILO for all countries in the world but Fiji is off from its immediate focus due to the recent resolutions to remove Fiji from the agenda," Mr Koroilavesau said.

"Being removed from the ILO agenda itself is a huge achievement for Fiji and by no means came as an accident.

"It has been the efforts of all parties that has made it possible to come this far."

Mr Koroilavesau added that comments made by Mr Anthony in regards to what could be deemed or defined as "essential services" in Fiji were being addressed by the processes established for such purposes.

"The other issue stated by Anthony is a work in progress and there is mechanism in the Employment Relations Advisory Board to deal with all other issues raised by any of the tripartite members."

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