10 Aug 2007

Fiji interim minister calls for review of Trade Disputes Act

6:08 pm on 10 August 2007

Fiji's interim minister for the public service says the Trade Disputes Act must be reviewed to prevent its abuse by unions.

Poseci Bune has made the call after the Fiji Nurses Association ended its 16-day strike without any resolution and the Fijian Teachers ended its one-day strike when the education ministry moved the school holidays forward.

He says unions cannot just go on strike and then call it off a day or two later without going through any negotiating process.

The Fijian Teachers Association has said it will issue a fresh strike notice as soon as school holidays end.

Mr Bune says he has already advised the Registrar of Trade Unions not to entertain any more trade disputes since the unions have abused the process.

He says the existing legislation needs to be amended so that those who do this are heavily penalized.

The president of the Fijian Teachers Association, Tevita Koroi, denies that calling off a strike only to begin a fresh one when schools resume is an abuse of process.