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Fiji Time: 5:33 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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Membership decline worries association

Maciu Malo
Monday, May 07, 2012

A DECLINE in membership through job losses is a major worry of the Fiji Local Government Officers Association.

Association president Rohit Singh told at the annual general meeting in Lautoka on Saturday they would look at ways of embracing their sister unions represented by the Municipal Employees Union.

Mr Singh said a dramatic decrease in the number of jobs resulted in the decline of membership from 210 to 190 members.

"A fall in traditional full-time employment and an increase in part-time and temporary workers or contractual workers who are less likely to join us," he said.

"Another reason for the decline is an increase in the proportion of the workforce employed by small councils where it is often difficult for unions to organise.

"Another reason is the legislation. The Employment Relation Promulgation has introduced provisions which make it difficult for unions to operate and keep their members as some municipalities are practising individual contracts."

Mr Singh, however, said the trade union's membership was still high and many people were employed in workplaces where unions were recognised by the management.

"We as others have to find ways of stepping up our efforts to recruit new members within the municipalities. More people are turning to trade unions because they want the protection.

"If somebody finds a decent job in the council, we should go to them and protect them rather than challenge the decisions or informing higher authority for investigations which paints a bad image of our council and the association," Mr Singh said.