20 Nov 2012

Fiji road workers not given notice of layoffs: union

1:39 pm on 20 November 2012

The Fiji Trades Union Congress says the department in charge of roading failed to inform its staff they were being laid off before the media made it public.

The work of the Fiji Roading Authority is being outsourced to New Zealand companies and the authority itself reduced to a staff of about 15.

The change manager for the process, Mike Rudge, says the contractors will rehire competent roading workers with a good attitude.

But the president of the congress, Daniel Urai, says the authority should have given them 30 to 60 days' notice of their termination.

"One morning they wake up, there's a headline, 1,000 workers will be losing their job. We're dealing with the lives of human beings. At least it could be done - they should have been told, this is what is about to happen and that would give ample time for their representatives to negotiate a better redundancy condition."

Daniel Urai says the redundancy payment the workers will receive is the minimum by law.