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Trade unions non-active in most difficult sectors: Sayed-Khaiyum

October 22, 2017 1:21 am

Trade Unions haven’t been able to remodel their work into the 21st century says Civil Service Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Responding to the FTUC march that was held in Suva yesterday, the Minister says the trade unions have been absent from the most difficult sectors where there have been abuse of workers.

”If any worker has been mistreated or underpaid please come and tell us. We know that’s been happening in some construction sites and in some of the retail areas but are the trade unions active there? NO, they’re not active there. Trade unions are always active where there is governments or state owned enterprise."

He says fixed term individual contracts wasn’t introduced to undermine any organization or person adding it’s a relationship the government has with its employee.

”If you ask ordinary Fijians what do you want do you want civil servants to be performing well and delivering good service to them they will say yes , if you ask them and said to them do you want a civil servant who is not a performer to continue to serve you, they will of course say no , the fact of the matter is for the first time in Fiji’s

Around four hundred workers including some bystanders marched through the streets of the capital yesterday claiming unfair treatment at work places.

The march for which a permit was granted included union veterans such as gourmet political rivals Felix Anthony and Mahendra Chaudhry.

Felix Anthony told FBC News the march was an attempt to draw attention to whole lot of issues affecting workers.

“We are dealing with the most fundamental issues that affect workers on everyday basis, that is about having decent wages, putting decent food on the table, its having rights at work, its having dignity at work.”

Top on the agenda at the march was a demand for a $4 minimum wage for unskilled workers, protest against contracts for civil servants and calling for the return of secret ballots and a subsequent right to strike without verification of the voting procedure without the supervision of the elections office.

The march concluded at Sukuna Park with different speakers calling for the government to hear their request.