|UNITE UNION WORKERS ON THE PICKET LINE IN NEW ZELAND: A scene you won't find in Fiji under the new Essential National Industries Employment Decree thanks to the ill-hand of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and cohort David Pflieger.|
Fiji's corrupt leadership today went a step further in its efforts to control and oppress, gazetting the horrendous new Essential National Industries Employment Decree which strips workers and in particular, unions, of power.
As tipped by Coupfourpointfive four months ago, under the new decree, workers and unions are clearly muzzled by the draconian protocols, supposedly aimed at 'ensuring the viability and sustainability of certain industries' essential to the economy.
The discerning will note quickly, though, that the new edicts are tailored to give absolute powers to the Regime and Corporations like sugar and the airlines, which are run by their incompetent mates, with the rights and terms of condition of employment of workers rendered meaningless.
The Essential National Industries Employment Decree rules out:
1) Strikes, job actions, sick outs, slowdowns or other financially or operationally harmful activities at any time for any reason for designated corporations
2) Union efforts to register themselves as a representative of a Bargaining Unit, union efforts to influence the outcome of collective bargaining, and disputes over the interpretation or application of any collective agreements.
The decree also states that if parties have not agreed on a new or successor collective agreement by the period stated, the Bargaining Unit through a secret ballot verified by the Minister may go on strike or the employer may implement a lockout. But this can only be done after giving 28 days to the Minister and on written approval from him.
It also rules out working on Saturday, Sunday or Public Holidays, overtime pay to pilots, airline crew or engineers employed and employers deducting union fees for employers.
Any person, body, union rep or worker who fails to comply will be liable for a $50,000 fine or a maximum of five years imprisonment and in the case of a union body, a fine not exceeding $100,000. No court will be able to challenge the legality of the decree.
Editor's Note: Full analysis coming up tomorrow.