8 Aug 2007

Fiji unions fear more pay cuts after failed strike

3:17 pm on 8 August 2007

A union leader in Fiji says thousands of workers ending their strike action today fear more pay cuts under the interim government.

The Public Employees Union, the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers and the Fijian Teachers Association had been pushing for the restoration of a five-percent pay cut imposed earlier this year.

The general secretary of Fiji's Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, says all unions have rejected the interim administration's offer of one per cent, and will be taking their claim to the High Court.

He says union leaders refused to sign an agreement with the administration on Monday because it included no guarantee of workers' safety.

Nor, he says, did it rule out a further pay cut before the next election.

"Most agreements will carry a clause on no victimisation and no harassment and so forth, but even that was refused by the interim administration. And they have not given any guarantees of no further pay cuts. So the only way to then get these would be through courts rather than through the administration."

Attar Singh.

The interim administration has accused the unions of negotiating in bad faith.