26 Jun 2007

Fiji's interim labour minister says legality of strike notice must be scrutinised

7:07 am on 26 June 2007

Fiji's interim Labour Minister, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, says the legality of the strike notice issued by the Confederation of Public Sector Unions must be scrutinised first.

The strike notice was re-issued last week with the Confederation saying it will strike from the 19th July but remains open to negotiations.

The unions, which include the Public Servants and Nurses Associations, and the Teacher's Union, are protesting against the 5-percent pay cuts imposed by the interim administration and the lowering of the retirement age to 55.

Mrs Rounds Ganilau is urging the unions involved to come to the negotiation table but at the same time says the notice needs to be assessed first for specific reasons.

"Whether the dispute is warranted and whether we can move with it, as you know I have the last say on this and I am always always hopeful of informal mediation and talks before the end of the expiry time so that we can do everything for Fiji, we all know we don't have any money, so we can work on one or two of the issues that are on hand, but come and talk to us."

Bernadette Rounds Ganilau.