JUST MINIMUM WAGE FOR ALL

The FTUC Biennial Conference held in Nadi on 7th May 2016 launched a campaign to raise the National Minimum Wage to $4 an hour. While the FTUC is mindful that the $4 Minimum wage will still peg workers below the poverty line, we believe that $4 is a decent starting point to work towards a Minimum Wage that is pegged above the poverty line. The FTUC estimates that the poverty line is around $4.50 an hour. We advocate that annual adjustments must be made to work towards that goal.

The Constitution of Fiji at Chapter 2, Section 33 clearly states “The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realization of the right of every person to work and to a just minimum wage.” The current minimum wage of $2.32 is grossly inadequate and condemns workers to extreme poverty. It is not a realistic starting point to progressively ensure a “just Minimum Wage” as the target is too far off and annual inflationary movements will further make it impossible to realize a minimum wage above the poverty line.

The situation is further compounded by the National Employment Center policy on providing employment for young people. The wage guideline set for attaches is $60 per week without any FNPF deductions, overtime payments or any other benefits applicable to these workers all in the name of creating employment. The reality is that in many workplaces, permanent employees are being replaced by these attaches at $60 per week. This has undermined the National Minimum wage and the minimum conditions set out in the Employment Relations Promulgation. What is happening in Fiji is that we are driving the wages downwards, a race to the bottom.

The current minimum wage of $2.32 means a weekly wage of $96.05 after FNPF deductions. Then we need to take 9% off that for VAT. This leaves the worker with $87.41 per week. A conservative 2015 estimate for Basic Needs Poverty Line is around $185.00 per week. This leaves a massive gap of about $97.59 per week. As time goes on, our people get deeper and deeper into poverty and debt, yet we wonder why productivity is still low. It is no secret that happy workers are more productive and it is the right time to address this issue.

The FTUC notes the concerns of employers. We also note that some 15 years ago, the Unions called for minimum wages to be increased to the poverty line through the Wages Councils. We were promptly told by employers that the time was not right. The past Chairperson, Fr. Kevin Barr of the Wages Council also advocated the same and was told the same thing just 6 years ago. We are now again told the time is not right. Well, when will the time be right for workers in Fiji to earn a just Minimum Wage. It appears never.

The FTUC understands the plight of small businesses and is receptive to some concessions for this lot. However it disagrees that bigger businesses hide behind the small businesses to pay poverty wages and claim to be concerned about small businesses. This trick will no longer work. Threats of unemployment rising are mere threats and FTUC is confident that if workers earn more, economic activity will increase, which will in turn create demand and jobs. This will be good for businesses as well. This is good for Government as when people spend more they pay more VAT. Decent work is also about a just wage and conditions of employment and not merely any job.

We recall the promise that the Prime Minister made to the people to create a Just society and that no Fijian will be left behind. So far it’s only the workers who have been left behind and we call on Government to act with some determination to ensure a fair deal for workers. A $4 minimum wage is a good place to start.

Workers Rights Weakened – ITUC Global Index Report

Here’s information on workers right situation in the region adapted from the ITUC webpage.

2016 marks the Worst Year on Record in Most Regions for Attacks on Free Speech and Democracy.

­According to the 2 ITUC Global Rights Index,”  Weakening of workers’ rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly.

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Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions. The ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 141 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice.
“We are witnessing the closing of democratic space and an increase in insecurity, fear and intimidation of working people. The speed at which attacks on rights are being forced through, even in democracies with the Finish government’s proposals and the new trade union law in the United Kingdom, shows an alarming trend for working people and their families,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.
“Repression of workers’ rights goes hand in hand with increased government control over freedom of expression, assembly and other fundamental civil liberties, with too many governments seeking to consolidate their own power and frequently doing the bidding of big business, which often sees fundamental rights as incompatible with its quest for profit at any expense.”
The Middle East and North Africa were again the worst region for working people, with the kafala system in the Gulf still enslaving millions of workers. At the other end of the scale, rights in Europe, traditionally the best-performing region in the Index, continue to deteriorate. Despite the obvious failure of austerity policies, many European governments are continuing to undermine workers’ rights. The failure of most European countries to fulfil their obligations to refugees, including the right to work, is making the problem worse.
The International Trade Union Confederation has been collecting data on violations of workers’ rights to trade union membership and collective bargaining around the world for more than 30 years. This is the third year the ITUC has presented its findings through the Global Rights Index, putting a unique and comprehensive spotlight on how government laws and business practices have deteriorated or improved in the last 12 months.
The ten worst countries for working people are Belarus, China, Colombia, Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
Cambodia, India, Iran and Turkey joined the ranking of the ten worst countries for working people for the first time in 2016. The Cambodian government approved a new Trade Union Law further limiting workers’ ability to negotiate over their working conditions and pay, while police in India regularly use disproportionate violence against workers holding protests with many detained for simply exercising their rights guaranteed in national laws. Iran uses heavy prison sentences against workers for peaceful activities, and Turkey is targeting public servants engaging in legitimate and peaceful union activities, with at least 1,390 public sector workers under investigation. The Turkish government has also become synonymous with attacks on freedom of speech, with ten foreign journalists banned since last October and Turkish journalists facing severe repression including trial and imprisonment on bogus grounds including “national security”.
“All four new additions to the rogues’ gallery of the ten worst countries are clear examples of the combined assault on workers’ rights and other fundamental freedoms,” said Burrow.
In other countries outside the ten worst, conditions worsened in the past year, including in Indonesia, Montenegro and Paraguay. Protests in Indonesia against changes to the minimum wage fixing system were brutally crushed with police using water cannons, tear gas and mass arrests. The Paraguayan government is consistently denying the registration of trade unions, exposing workers to discrimination by employers while bankruptcy laws in Montenegro suspend basic rights laws during bankruptcy proceedings with workers in some 2,363 enterprises affected in the past five years.
The reports key findings include:
 82 countries exclude workers from labour law.
 Over two-thirds of countries have workers who have no right to strike.
 More than half of all countries deny some or all workers collective bargaining.
 Out of 141 countries, the number which deny or constrain free speech and freedom of assembly increased from 41 to 50 with Algeria, Cameroon, the United States and Pakistan joining the list.
 Out of 141 countries, the number in which workers are exposed to physical violence and threats increased by 44 per cent (from 36 to 52) and include Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia and the Ukraine.
 Unionists were murdered in 11 countries, including Chile, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Turkey.
“Working collectively for better wages, rights and conditions makes workers targets of both state security forces and thugs hired by companies,” said Burrow. “This is happening in both the public and private sectors, including in global supply chains, which are a notorious source of exploitation and poverty. Governments need to uphold their obligations under international law through the legal standards they themselves adopt at the International Labour Organization, and ensure that multinational companies based in their country are answerable for all the workers in their international operations at home and abroad. The alternative is yet more impoverishment of working families and further flat lining of the global economy as people struggle just to pay their daily bills, unable to invest in their children’s future or to make even the most modest purchases.”
The 2016 ITUC Global Rights Index rates countries from one to five according to 97 indicators, with an overall score placing countries in one to five rankings.
1. Irregular violations of rights: 13 countries including Germany & Uruguay
2. Repeated violations of rights: 22 countries including Ireland & Japan
3. Regular violations of rights: 41 countries including Australia & Israel
4. Systematic violations of rights: 30 countries including Poland & USA
5. No guarantee of rights: 25 countries including Belarus, China & Nigeria
5+ No guarantee of rights due to breakdown of the rule of law: 10 countries including Burundi, Palestine & Syria,

For more information click on the links below:
Read the report: ITUC Global Rights Index 2016
Download the ITUC Global Rights Index map
Download the ITUC Global Rights Index Infographic – Ten worst countries in the world for working people.

 

” Organizing – the pathway to decent work and social justice ” – Anthony

The Fiji Trades Union Congress   continues its intensive campaign on organizing workers into unions  to promote Freedom of Association and  Collective Bargaining as the means to achieve decent work and social justice. NS FOR organisingA Training of Trainers  for Union Organizers was conducted on 3rd to 4th of August 2016 at the Capricorn International Hotel, Nadi supported by ILO ACTRAV for FTUC to continue to strengthen its institutions.Selected  members who are lead organisers  in their respective unions were trained on effective organizing skills, the labour  law promoting freedom of association, basic minimum terms and conditions of employment and dispute and grievance procedures  as stipulated in the ERP,to name a few.

The ILO Workers Specialist for the Pacific,  Ms Jotika Sharma  emphasized on the need for organizers to be prepared with adequate and up-to date information on the laws pertaining to and securing the right  of workers to join union and to engage in collective  bargaining. She further elaborated on the Fiji laws that an organiser must be aware of  to encourage workers to join unions and how these could be utlized by workers themselves to deal with issues at the workplace that were in direct contravention with ILO Conventions 87 & 98 and the ERP 2007.  Bro Raghwan, a retired Workers Specialist and now practicing as a IR Consultant discussed how the Fiji case unfolded within the ILO supervisory mechanisms and the outcome of the decisions of the Committee on Application of Standards (CAS) and Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions  and Recommendations (CEACR).

The participants also   built on their skills on effective organizing techniques, and how to efficiently deal with  challenges faced in the field. Good practices were shared by  representatives from the NUFCW,  NUHCTIE, FMWA and NUW.  The 2 day program also focused on developing user friendly education materials to promote  Freedom  of Association and  it was concluded that issues based approach was the ideal way forward.

The training concluded with the National Secretary Bro Felix Anthony encouraging the organizers to   focus on the vulnerable workers where decent working conditions were far from reach. He further mentioned that unions needed to invest resources to increase membership and resources to protect and maintain the membership.  He emphasized that organizing was the only pathway to achieving decent work and social justice for workers.

The participants submitted their draft work plans and education material templates that will be used by the network to promote organizing in the field in the next months.  They will be assisted by the FTUC to implement their plans  within the sectors identified in  the planning meeting  on Friday the 5th of August. A video  promoting the Right to Organise and The Minimum wage campaign was launched at the workshop.

Singapore’s retirement age

” Singapore does not have compulsory retirement but has a retirement age, like many other countries. The retirement age in Singapore is 62, though the re-employment age will rise from 65 to 67 next year. Workers turning 62 can opt to retire or continue working until the re-employment age ceiling.”

Singapore’s retirement age has to go “at some point”, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a dialogue at the World Cities Summit yesterday.

It is critical that older workers be seen as assets to be continually invested in, rather than just as add- ons needed because employers cannot find younger workers in a tight labour market, he said.

Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, was speaking at the opening session of the World Cities Summit at Marina Bay Sands.

He outlined key challenges faced by growing cities, such as ageing societies, at the discussion, Towards A Liveable, Sustainable And Resilient Future.

“Older folks are an asset. They have wisdom, experience and they also learn on the job. We have to make this (integrating older workers) part and parcel of the workplace… We have not done it very well in Singapore so far and we have to do much better in this realm,” he said.

His comments were in response to a question by Ambassador-at- large Tommy Koh, who moderated the dialogue between Mr Tharman and the audience of academics, policymakers and industry leaders from across the globe.

Professor Koh asked Mr Tharman if the Singapore Government could abolish compulsory retirement.

“I am 78 years old, I am working full-time and I think many older Singaporeans are like me. They don’t dream of playing golf or lying on a beach. We want to continue to work and contribute to society,” said Prof Koh.

Mr Tharman said Singapore does not have compulsory retirement but has a retirement age, like many other societies. “At some point, this (retirement age) has to go,” he said, adding that older people are assets and they can keep learning even in their 50s or 60s as their brains continue to adapt.

The retirement age in Singapore is 62, though the re-employment age will rise from 65 to 67 next year. Workers turning 62 can opt to retire or continue working until the re-employment age ceiling.

In Parliament this year, Ms Jessica Tan, an MP for East Coast GRC, asked why the Manpower Ministry did not remove the retirement age.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said doing so could actually be worse for workers as it means that companies can terminate their employees’ services earlier.

The other challenge that comes with an ageing population, said Mr Tharman, is healthcare, which has to be humane, affordable and convenient for people.

For instance, studies abroad have shown that less than 20 per cent of the time a person spends visiting a clinic or hospital is spent seeing the doctor, said Mr Tharman. The rest of the time is spent on travelling, queueing and waiting, and this is especially inconvenient for an older person with disability.

Telemedicine then, said Mr Tharman, is a huge opportunity for cities to tap so that seniors at home have peace of mind, knowing they have a nurse or doctor to get advice from.

In closing, Mr Tharman said innovation is going to be a source of inclusivity. “It is not a contradiction to say that we want a highly innovative society and open society as well as an inclusive society.”

Click on link for read further: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tharman-spores-retirement-age-has-to-go-at-some-point?xtor=EREC-16-1%5bST_Newsletter_AM%5d-20160712-%5bSingapore%27s+retirement+age+has+to+go+at+some+point:+DPM+Tharman%5d&xts=538291

 

 

 

 

 

Inter-American Court Confirms Workers’ Right to Union Representation

Dear Members ,

For your information, please read.

A key decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has re-affirmed that the rights of trade unions are protected in the Inter-American System, issuing an Advisory Opinion in response to a case brought by the Government of Panama in 2014.

 

In its amicus brief and oral testimony to the Court, the ITUC, supported by its regional organization TUCA, argued that freedom of association under the American Convention on Human Rights, should include not only the protection of individual workers but also their trade unions as organisations. The Court agreed, affirming the importance of unions as indispensable to defend the rights of workers, embedding protection under Article 8 of the Protocol to the American Convention for workers seeking justice from employers and governments.

The majority of the Court ruled in favour of the ITUC’s position, despite submissions from Argentina, Colombia and Guatemala, which would have deprived workers of this protection. The ITUC also argued that corporations do not have “legal person” standing, and the Court again accepted the ITUC’s arguments on this issue. Had the decision gone the other way, unions would not be able to challenge interference in or limitations to their activities, including the right to federate and confederate, or join international organisations, nor have standing to bring those claims.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said “This ruling is crucial in the Americas, with the highest human rights authority in the region re-affirming the importance of the role of trade unions at a time when workers’ human rights are under sustained attack in many countries. For many people, particularly in Central America, the right to union representation is a matter of life and death. It is a welcome sign that when so many employers in the Americas fail to respect the ILO, the eminent jurists of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have stood firm. Regional bodies such as this have an important role to play and we will continue our work to secure the respect for ILO standards at the regional level as well as through national legal processes and through UN and other global bodies.”

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiPk9vKnu3NAhXMJpQKHU_OD4EQFggvMAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ituc-csi.org%2Finter-american-court-confirms&usg=AFQjCNF5cY2aRCl2Z_WQlxZUfkYx3lEatQ

“The future of work is not determined by technology, we can shape it!”

 

DGILO Director General , Guy Ryder

 

Opening a conference on “Shaping the new world of work – the impacts of digitalisation and robotisation” organized by The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), ILO Director-General Guy Ryder discussed some of the major drivers of change, and their impact on the world of work. 

“The future of work is not determined by technology or by any other circumstance,” he said, “it is fundamentally going to be the result of what we, the actors of the world of work, decide to make it.” The major global drivers of change, such as technology but also demography, climate change and the greening of our economy, present both opportunities and challenges to which the policy response should promote social justice principles.

The Director-General underlined the social function of work, often ignored, but yet vital. “Today, there is too much unemployment and inequality, and we need to challenge some of the basic fundamentals of current labour market policy,” he concluded.

http://www.etui.org/Events/Shaping-the-new-world-of-work.-The-
impacts-of-digitalisation-and-robotisation

How does the minimum wage compare around the globe?

Dear Members

Please find belwo link  on some very interesting facts for your information on comparison of  minimum wages in different countries around the world including Fiji.

http://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/how-does-the-minimum-wage-compare-around-the-globe-124305/?guruwa

 

Fiji Islands National Minimum Wage FJD2.32 or USD1.20 an hour

FTUC 46 Biennial Congress Election Results – Update

Dear Colleagues & Friends , 
Thank you for your participation at, and or well- wishes for the FTUC  46th  Biennial Delegates Congress on May 7th  In Nadi. The Congress elected the following officials to the respective Committees and positions as below as new office bearers for the new term 2016 – 2018:
  1.      FTUC National Executive Board 2016 – 2018

National President –                             Bro. Daniel Urai (retained)

Vice President –                                    Sis. Latileta Gaga (new)

Vice President –                                   Bro. Dixon Mar (new)

Vice President –                                   Sis. Teresa Ali (new)

National Secretary –                            Bro. Felix Anthony (retained)

Assistant National Secretary –           Bro. Rouhit Karan Singh (retained)

National Treasurer –                          Bro. Agni Deo Singh (retained)

Observers – One youth Committee rep,  One Women’s Committee rep

  1.    FTUC Women’s Committee 2016 – 2018

Chairperson –             Sis. Ajeshni Lal (Fiji Teachers Union) new

Vice Chairperson –     Sis Ilisabeta Copeland (National Union of Factory & Commercial Workers)new

Vice Chairperson –      Sis Teresia Ali( USP Permanently Paid & Intermediate & Junior Staff Union)

Secretary    –                Sis. Melia Vuki (retained)

Assistant Secretary –      Sis. Bonita Niumataiwalu (Federated Airline Staff Association) new

Treasurer –                      Sis. Sima Kumar (Fiji Teachers Union)-new

Committee Members:

Sis. Luse Madigibuli        –     (Fiji Maritime Workers Associations)

Sis. Latileta Gaga           –     (National Union of Factory and Commercial Workers)

Sis. Mereavi Vulawalu     –    (Federated Airline Staff Association)

Sis. Rukshana Bibi         –    (Fiji Local Government Officers Association)

Sis. Loraini Savou          –     (National Union of Hospitality, Catering & Tourism Industries Employees)

  1.    FTUC Youth Committee 2016 – 2018

Chairperson            –          Bro. Rajnesh Lingam (retained) – Fiji Teachers Union

Vice Chairperson    –          Bro. Emosi Fong (Staff Association of University of Fiji)

Vice President         –         Bro. Abdul Irsraaz Khan (Fiji Local Government Officers Association

Secretary     –                      Bro Alvin Prasad (retained) – National Union of Factory and Commercial Workers

Assistant Secretary –          Bro. Setareki Dawa (National Union of Workers)

Treasurer –                         Sis. Salote Nasemila (Federated Airline Staff Association)

Committee Members:

Bro. Semi Baleisuva – (National Union of Factory and Commercial Workers)

Sis. Shabina Verma – (Federated Airline Staff Association)

Bro. Munendra Mistry- (Fiji Teachers Union)

Sis. Elia Waqaliva – (National Union of Hospitality, Catering & Tourism Industries Employees)

Bro. Viasi Gukirewa – (National Union of Hospitality, Catering & Tourism Industries Employees)

 

In Solidarity

FTUC Secretariat

 

Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Victims File Lawsuit Against California-based Seafood Importers

 Source: Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Victims of human trafficking in the multi-billion dollar seafood industry supply chain,which stretches from seafood packing factories in Thailand to supermarkets in the United States, today filed suit in California federal court. The seven plaintiffs were recruited from their home villages in rural Cambodia to work at factories in Thailand producing shrimp and seafood for export to the United States.  Instead of the good jobs at good wages they were promised, the five men and two women became victims of human trafficking, forced labor, involuntary servitude, and peonage, according to attorneys at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP and Anthony DiCaprio who represent the villagers.

The defendants sell their shrimp and seafood to large U.S. customers like Walmart and include California-based Rubicon Resources, LLC, and an affiliate, Wales & Co. Universe Ltd, as well as Thai corporations Phatthana Seafood and S.S. Frozen Food.  The complaint states that the defendants were part of a joint venture that knowingly profited from trafficked labor in direct violation of both U.S. and international law.

“When they finally returned home, these men and women had nothing to show for their hard labor and their families were poorer than before,” said Agnieszka Fryszman, Cohen Milstein partner and lead attorney for the villagers.  “Fortunately, in the Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act, Congress gave trafficked workers the tools they need to obtain justice when companies knowingly profit from forced labor in their supply chains.”  The United State Government Trafficking in Persons Report, human rights organizations and international organizations have long highlighted the problems of trafficking and forced labor at the Thai shrimp and seafood factories that are part of the multi-billion dollar seafood industry supply chain.

“What happened to me was wrong,” said Plaintiff Keo Ratha. “I filed this suit so companies would think twice before exploiting trafficked workers in the future and to help the workers who were exploited with me.”

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act authorizes victims of human trafficking to pursue a remedy against whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act of trafficking or forced labor.

In the case of the Cambodian villagers, each paid high recruitment fees to obtain jobs in Thailand. Several mortgaged family farmland and went deep into debt to finance the fees and travel costs, expenses they planned to repay with the promised wages.  But when they arrived at the Thai factory, the villagers learned that they would be paid less than promised and that their already meager wages would be further reduced by unexpected salary deductions for housing, fees, and other charges.

Furthermore, the men and women worked long hours in harsh conditions and were packed into crowded housing with inadequate sanitation facilities. When the villagers sought to leave the factory and return home, they were not permitted to do so. Instead, their passports were withheld and they were ordered to pay off the “fees they had incurred”—a condition made difficult, if not impossible, by the reduced pay and unexpected deductions.  For example, one plaintiff, Phan Sophea, stated he was unable to return home for his mother’s funeral because he could not afford to ransom his passport back.

Some of the workers did not make enough money to afford food, even when working more than eight hours a day six days a week.  For example, villager Yem Ban stated he was reduced to scavenging for fish along the beach and vegetables left in the fields after harvest.

When they were allowed to return home, the villagers had nothing to show for their hard labor or, worse, lost the farmland they had used as collateral to pay the job recruiters, driving their families deeper into poverty.  One villager, Phan Sophea, who lost his farmland, states that he and his family now often go hungry. Another, Sem Kosal, said he now is unable to pay school fees for his son and could not afford to buy medicine when his children were ill.

“Through this lawsuit, we hold accountable companies that allow human trafficking in their supply chain,” said Mary Ross of Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP.

A leader in international human rights litigation, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll’s Human Rights Practice Group has been at the forefront of human trafficking cases in the U.S.  Agnieszka Fryszman and Alysson Ouoba of Cohen Milstein are joined by co-counsel Dan Stormer and Mary Tanagho Ross of Hadsell Stormer & Renick, Paul Hoffman of Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman and Anthony Dicaprio.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder assures support to Fiji tripartite partners for labour law reforms

 

DG

The  Director General  International Labour Organisation , Mr Guy Ryder, reinforced through a strong message to the tripartite partners in Fiji of ILO’s  continued support to ongoing labour law reforms in Fiji.    This was the pledge made by the DG to the FTUC’s 46th Biennial Delegates Conference held in Nadi on May 7th 2016. For full video message  see  https://www.facebook.com/FTUC1/?fref=ts

“As the voice and representative of workers in Fiji, the FTUC plays a vital role in defending and promoting the rights of workers, upholding international labour standards, particularly those relating to Freedom of Association, the Right to Organize and the Right to Bargain Collectively” , My Ryder said. He further added that  “It has taken several years of extensive social dialogue for the tripartite constituents to finally come to this successful conclusion and I am (he is) very proud of the role the ILO has played in helping to solve this entangled and prolonged conflict.”

The Director General  stated that the conflict and  an intense campaign for resolution and justice for Fiji workers was followed by  the tripartite mission to Suva in January of this year.  He added that it was the Report of that ILO Tripartite Mission, the Joint Implementation Report by Fiji’s tripartite constituents, and the adoption of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill of 2016 by Fiji’s Parliament, that the ILO’s Governing Body at this year’s March session decided not to refer the complaint against Fiji to a Commission of Inquiry. ”

He acknowledged  the struggles of the workers of the country and of unions, and commended the perseverance of the FTUC through its strong leadership towards a amicable solution to the impasse in Fiji.

Mr Ryder    further assured the 150 plus delegates and guests at the Nadi Conference  that the ILO’s Office in Suva, the  Regional Office in Bangkok as well as the Headquarters  in Geneva, will do all that the ILO  can to assist their constituents in Fiji in this regard.  His message was received with utmost enthusiasm  and  renewed the vigor  of the FTUC membership  in its pursuit of social justice through the ongoing labour law reforms in Fiji.

  • Ends