13 Aug 2007

Fiji trade unions oppose any change to Trade Dispute's Act

6:26 am on 13 August 2007

Trade Unions in Fiji have strongly opposed changes to the Trade Disputes Act proposed by the interim minister for the public service, Poseci Bune.

Mr Bune called for changes saying unions had abused provisions of the act when the Fijian Teachers Association called off its strike after one day saying it would file a fresh strike notice after school holidays are over.

The chairman of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Rajeshwar Singh, says no changes to the Trade Disputes Act are necessary because it is due to be replaced by the Employment Relations Bill in October.

Rajeshwar Singh says under the new Bill, the government will not be permitted to ignore a trade dispute or a grievance as it did in the recent strike by the Fiji Nurses Association.

The Fijian Teachers Association has also called on Mr Bune not to touch the Trade Disputes Act.

Its general secretary, Maika Namudu, says Mr Bune should resign for calling on the Registrar of Trade Unions not to entertain any further disputes from the Fijian Teachers Association.

The deposed minister for labour, Krishna Datt, says trade unions should unite and put up a strong stand against any changes to the Trade Disputes Act.