Call to appoint more tribunals

Fiji Trades Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony and Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Agni Deo Singh during the meeting. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Agni Deo Singh has asked the Attorney-General to appoint to more tribunals and the courts to hear employment related matters.

He said a concern of the union members of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) is the long delays in the decisions by the tribunals in the employment code.

He highlighted this during the FTUC National Council Meeting on Saturday.

“I have taken this up with the honourable Attorney-General and we are hoping that we will be able to appoint more tribunals and the courts will expedite the process and handout decisions sooner than later,” he said.

“We also have issues with compliance. Compliance means making sure that minimum standards are observed and complied with, not only in hours of work, overtime or allowances and others, we also want to see that OHS is a very important aspect of the workplace and is fully observed. “We have heard of workplace injuries which we are not very happy with.

“We want to make sure that prevention is the name of the game, and we are happy that we have been given additional budget in terms of getting our manpower increased so we were able to not only enforce but to educate all our social partners.”

Mr Singh said there had been issues with employers who do not provide all the personal protective equipment gear that is necessary, and there are some employees who are provided with the gear but do not use it.

“It’s about also educating our people and we have those programs set and we are hoping to call a labour conference of all stakeholders to brainstorm and investigate how we can further improve our relationship at the workplace.

“These are issues we are now targeting.”

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