The National Minimum Wage and National Consultation Workshops were conducted in five major centers throughout Fiji namely, Nadi, Levuka, Labasa, Lautoka and concluding its final consultation in its capital city Suva on 4th October 2016. These consultations were held between 26th August till 4th October 2016.
The objectives of the consultations were to:
• update on labour law reform
• identify workers issues on industries in regards to current work conditions and practice
• focus on organising and update on collective bargaining
• campaign on FTUC $4 National Minimum Wage
• current status and plans for field activity on World Day for Decent Work which is to be held on 8th October 2016 throughout Fiji
In each of the consultation workshops the participants were divided and allocated into work groups and assigned practical exercises.
The objective of the group excersies were to educate and increase participants understanding of the ERP 2007, this was done through referencing of the Employment Relations Promulgations. The participants also identified and listed current issues and challenges faced by them at their work place in their different organisations and industries.
In one of these consultations Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary Mr Secretary Felix Anthony provided a brief background to the participants on how Employment Relations Promulgation came into effect. He also spoke on the Tripartite Agreement which involves representative from the Government, Employers and Workers. In addition he addressed and spoke on the level of intervention and authority from the International labour organization (ILO). The recent amendment of the employment relations promulgation 4/2015 and 11/2016, International Labour Organization standards, convention 87 – freedom of association and protection of the right to organize convention and convention 98 – right to organize and collective bargaining convention. Mr Anthony also spoke on the Decrees particularly the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree 2011 and changes associated with the decree, he stressed that the labour reforms and review processes are done to strengthen enforcement. In conclusion Mr. Anthony strongly emphasized on the need to be continuously organising the organized and unorganized and also the need to follow up on the members. He shared his message on the need to be 100% organized and encouraging union engagement in Fiji and at the work place.
Ms Moushmi Naicker during the consultation workshop in Suva emphasized to the participants their role as union members and as workers not to only support this campaign but create extensive awareness within their workplace, through colleagues, friends and families the important of the campaign. She also added that “Decent work means a Decent Pay”.
The Consultations throughout the country ended on a high note with members being able to understand and know their rights and workers. Being able to reference to the ERP and they were able to identify unfair work practices and more importantly it created awareness on their legal right.