30 Apr 2007

Fiji unions are hoping European Union partnership with interim government will alleviate tension

10:04 am on 30 April 2007

Fiji's Confederation of Public Sector Unions believes if the interim government takes up the European Union's suggestion of a partnership, it will go some way towards avoiding strike action.

The CPSU is planning to give notice of nationwide strikes this week over issues such as pay cuts and the lowering of the retirement age from 60 to 55.

The Senior Industrial Relations Officer, Nirbhay Singh, says the European Union has set out a road map for both parties to follow which includes the observance of all the laws of Fiji.

He says they believe that cabinet decisions regarding pay cuts and retirement age breached existing labour laws, but with the EU stepping in it may alleviate tension.

"So there may be some positive indications in future, because the European Union has indicated that they'd like to have it all recorded, and certified in a form of a partnership agreement, with the European Union now that is very significant and important."

Mr Singh says if the interim government won't agree then they'll have no option but to issue strike notice.