19th September 03:34 AM
There is no restriction for people going on strike - AG
By Lena Reece and Nitesh Raniga
Monday 23/10/2017
Attorney General and Minister for Civil Service Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum

Attorney General and Minister for Civil Service Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has reiterated that there is no restriction for people to go on strike.

He says that the right to go on strike which is in the Employment Relations Act has been there since 2007.

Sayed‑Khaiyum stressed that with the concurrence of the Unions, the government changed provisions last year and the Unions are fully aware of this. 

He says that there are constitutional provisions and provisions within the Employment Relations Act that states that people do have the right to strike, however, the processes must be followed.

He says the government since last year has been calling on the Trade Unions to attend various consultations and meetings to talk about the Civil Service Reforms and their response is that they were too busy with meetings.  

Sayed‑Khaiyum also highlighted that prior to the civil service reforms 70% of civil servants were already on contracts.

He stressed that nobody who is currently on permanent tenure has to go on term contracts and they will not lose their job as it is their choice.

However, they will not get the pay increments.

Sayed‑Khaiyum also pointed out that politicians, Felix Anthony, Mahendra Chaudhry and Lynda Tabuya are now trying to resuscitate their political career.

He says that these politicians are using the workers that turned up to the Fiji Trade Unions Congress March yesterday to launch their political careers and the march had nothing to do with the workers.

Sayed‑Khaiyum says if there was such a huge outcry in Fiji then there would have been thousands of workers at the march.

The Attorney General says that there are about 10,000 teachers, 6,000 or 7,000 nurses and altogether there are about 28,000 civil servants.

More than 400 people took part in the march on Saturday.

Sayed Khaiyum says it is obvious that majority of the civil servants are satisfied with what is happening, and some of the people that turned up to the march were political people. 

FTUC General Secretary Felix Anthony had earlier said that the march over the weekend was to protest against Government's decisions to impose fixed workers' contracts on the civil servants, the new minimum wage and workers' rights to take industrial actions in the form of a strike.

Anthony said that they will have more protest marches if the government does not make the changes.

Fiji Trade Unions Congress March

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