Kumar: No strike allowed

TRANSPORT Minister Parveen Kumar has warned sugarcane lorry operators against taking strike action because any such move would be in breach of a memorandum of understanding signed in Lautoka on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference after the MOU signing between the Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association, Land Transport Authority and sugar industry stakeholders, Mr Kumar said lorry owners and drivers had to understand what the provisions of the MOU meant.

“In the past there was no provision for strikes and what we heard was that there were plans by the lorry association to strike and I made it very clear that if Government is coming forward to assist the association, there should be no sign of strike,” he said.

“If you want to work together then all the parties will have to be honest about it.

“There is a provision now in the MOU that if Government is assisting you, you cannot be going and listening to the unionists and going on strike. It’s as simple as that.”

Mr Kumar emphasised the critical need for all sugar industry stakeholders to work together and to use the existing mechanisms that dealt with issues within the industry.

“If there are issues they (lorry operators) can take it to the Sugar Industry Tribunal.

“That’s why the Tribunal is not party to this MOU, we want them to be independent.

“That has been agreed to by the lorry association and we are working together.”

“I want to make it very clear. I don’t want unionists to come and just mislead the FCLOA and go on strike.”

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