Fiji : FTUC says action breached rules
Trades Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony
A NADI-BASED company accused by the Fiji Trades Union Congress of not following recent amendments to labour laws by suspending a worker from organising a union, claims the worker, Manueli Yawayawa did not follow procedure.
Tolls Construction Fiji Ltd manager Luke Mataika said Mr Yawayawa was not just suspended for handing out union forms, but also for not following procedure by informing the company of his intention to establish a union.
"According to my site management team and foreman's reports, he had disrupted work even to the extent of collecting staff pay slips and other warning letters for unknown reasons," he said.
"The process of distributing the forms without management knowledge had also disrupted work by causing a rift between staff.
"There was no collective agreement, no prior consultation and no prior presentation by the subject union to Toll Construction to formally inform us of their intentions.
"As mentioned above, the procedural oversight is not the only reason for his suspension."
Mr Mataika, however, has held fast to the claims that he had done nothing wrong and was wrongfully suspended.
"I was just handing out forms when they asked me to leave the island," he said.
FTUC general secretary Felix Anthony maintained that the company had acted contrary to the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016.
"This example clearly demonstrates that some employers need to change their mind-set and start educating themselves on the current labour laws and respect for workers fundamental rights," he said.