‘No legal strike for the past 10 years’

MINISTER for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate told Parliament on Thursday that since the passing of the Employment Relations Bill, there had been no legal strike for the past 10 years.

Mr Usamate said from 2003 to 2008, Fiji recorded a total of 60 strikes under the old law.

“From 2008 until to date a total of two strikes had been recorded, but was declared unlawful as the workers had walked off their work without completing the necessary processes,” he said.

“The shift in conflict resolution also resulted in consistent achievement of mediation settlement rating above 80 per cent, which is higher than the international best practise benchmark of 75 per cent,” he said.

Mr Usamate said Fiji now had brand new culture of conflict resolution through dialogue and good faith to build productive and progressive employment relationship among the social partners.

“The good faith principal is the new foundation of employment relationships. Mediation is pushed as the primary means of solving employment issues,” he said.

“For the first time in our history, this law complies with the 30 ILO conventions and the eight core ILO conventions which Fiji has ratified.”

He said all non-unionised workers comprising about 70 per cent of our workforce now access mediation services for the resolution of their employment grievances free of charge.