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Unionist unhappy with government stance

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, January 02, 2014

UNIONIST Daniel Urai has expressed disappointment at the government's stance of declaring unlawful the peaceful walkout by about 400 staff members of Sheraton Fiji Resort and Westin Denarau Resort and Spa on Tuesday.

Mr Urai, the general secretary of the National Union of Catering and Hospitality and Tourism Industries Employees, said Labour Minister Jone Usamate was ill-advised on the matter.

"The minister made a decision based on limited advice," he said.

"He was not well-informed of the reasons the workers walked off their jobs."

Mr Urai said the union would have further talks with the resort staff and the landowning committee before making any other decision.

Mr Urai's comments come in response to a statement issued by Mr Usamate on Tuesday declaring the walkout unlawful.

In the statement, the Labour Minister said the strike breached Section 175 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

He said Section One of the ERP required that a notice of secret ballot be provided to the Registrar of Trade Unions prior to any strike action.

"The Registrar of Trade Union today confirmed that he has not received a notice of secret ballot as required under the law," Mr Usamate said.

Fiji Islands Hotels and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto declined to comment on the issue.

"I decline to make any further comment on the issue except to say that as there is further dialogue between the resort staff and management, I think that is a positive move," he said.

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