NON-COMPLIANCE with wage regulation orders, diversification of union activities and the threat foreign investors pose to local workers topped the agenda at the Fiji Trades Unions Congress 44th Biennial Conference in Nadi yesterday.
Invited speaker and chairman of the Fiji Wages Council Father Kevin Barr reiterated an earlier call for the FTUC and Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU) to consider coming together under one umbrella in the interest of better addressing workers' issues.
"We have an unprecedented opportunity for the two organisations to come together and speak with one voice and I feel that is something that both organisations should work towards," he said.
Laila Harre, outgoing Strategies for Decent Work Specialist at the International Labour Organisation, also highlighted the need for the FTUC to come up with a new decent country work program that would better address workers issues and pave the foundation for improving workers issues.
She also called for the FTUC to look at recruiting workers in smaller industries, not traditionally aligned with the trade union movement.
"What we have found is not many workers in smaller industries are aware of what trade unions do or how they can advocate for workers rights with a view to improving work conditions. This is the challenge for the trade union movement in the 21st Century," said Ms Harre. Close to 100 trade union leaders from around the country convened at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi to participate in the event.