|UNITY: WISCONSIN FIST OF SOLIDARITY|
This is yet another vindictive attack on the Trade Unions by the interim Government and in particular by the AG. The AG’s reference to the rights enshrined in the Civil Service Act is incorrect and misleading.
The rights of workers were enshrined in the 1997 Constitution and the ERP. The Constitution has been abrogated by the AG while the Public Sector Unions and workers have been excluded from the provisions of the ERP.
The Civil Service Act is an administrative piece of legislation and was never intended by Parliament to enshrine workers rights. We have noted the attempts by the AG to misinform the public and his Unions busting campaign.
Trade Unions are democratic institutions and are accountable to their membership unlike the current Government who are not accountable to anyone. Therefore we expect the AG to respect this wish and decisions of workers.
Union subscription deductions have been the cornerstone of good industrial relations for decades in Fiji and Internationally. This provision cements the relationship and recognition of Trade Unions and Employers in Industrial Relations.
The AG clearly has no understanding and appreciation on such fundamental issues. His claims that the withdrawal of subscription deductions is common worldwide, is false. The fact is, he has no idea what the world’s best practices are in industrial relations.
We note that Employers in Fiji make various other deductions by way of written authority to their employers.
To single out Union subscription deductions clearly demonstrates contempt to and discrimination of trade unions. Such decisions of the AG will not deter Trade Unions and will not achieve the desired results that the AG hopes for.
We call on Government to reconsider its decision and adopt a mature attitude to dealing with real issues that confront workers in the public sector.