12 Sep 2011

Fiji unionist says new decree defies logic by including banks

7:41 pm on 12 September 2011

A union leader representing bank and finance workers in Fiji says the interim government's new employment decree for so-called essential national industries defies logic by including banks.

The law which restricts union activity in certain workplaces, came into effect last week and has been roundly criticised by local and international union groups.

National Secretary of the Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees' Union, Pramod Rae, says his union's been taken completely by surprise.

"Given that the banks are highly profitable and established institutions, it's all the more shocking that a decree that is intended to provide some protection for industries and corporations (which) are supposedly in some financial difficulty, that the banks are included there."

Pramod Rae says there's a lot of work involved in the changed law which he describes as confusing and contradictory, with onerous requirements on both employers and employees.