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Fiji Time: 5:36 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Decree regulates essential services

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, December 19, 2013

PINE, mahogany, fire prevention services and municipal councils are four new industries listed under the Essential National Industries Employment Decree.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement yesterday afternoon.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all workers, excluding management in the new industries, would get a 10 per cent pay rise effective January 1st next year.

Included in the pine industry are Fiji Pine Limited, Tropik Wood, Tropik Wood Products and Fiji Forest Industries.

Fiji Hardwood Corporation falls under the mahogany industry while the National Fire Authority is listed under the fire prevention services.

All municipal councils are affected by the decree which was gazetted on Tuesday.

Under the decree, there can be no strikes, slowdowns or other financially or operationally-harmful activities. It is aimed at ensuring the viability and sustainability of certain industries essential to the economy.

The decree also restricts a union's efforts to obtain registration as a representative of a bargaining unit, to influence the outcome of collective bargaining, and be involved in disputes over the interpretation or application of any collective agreements.

While making the announcement, in regards to the pine industry, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was unfortunate that since the amalgamation of the union at Tropik Pine with a sugar union, sabotage of machinery at Tropik Wood had increased.

"They have found metal in the chipper and other machinery. With the decree, all such action will stop.

"It will also allow employees to deal directly with employers regarding grievances."

Also announced was a pay rise for air traffic managers.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the air traffic managers would get a pay rise of $1000 up to $5000 on the type of licences they had.