11 Nov 2005

Fiji employment ruling could open doors for more claims against highly profitable companies

9:36 am on 11 November 2005

An industrial award handed down in Fiji has for the first time recognised that highly profitable companies should share some their profits with the employees who generate them.

Fiji TV reports that the precedent has been set in the award given by the permanent arbitrator, William Callancini, to employees of the ANZ Bank who are members of the Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union.

The union general secretary, Pramod Rae says last year the ANZ Bank in Fiji reported a net profit of over US$16 million, up by 17 per cent on the previous year.

This year it reported an after tax profit of US$17.5 million.

The union had asked for a 10 per cent increase in wages and salaries because there had been no structural adjustment in these since 1982, except for Cost of Living Adjustments.

The ANZ Bank argued that it was unfair to reward employees across the board.

Mr Rae says now that the principle of sharing profits has been accepted, the union will use it in claims on other companies to reward their employees.