Man seeks justice

Maika Tuki raises his concern at the Public Consultation at Nadi Civic Centre yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A FORMER civil servant who claims he was “terminated” from employment by the military regime in 2009 is pleading for justice.

Maika Tuki, a former district officer and provincial administrator under the Qarase government, asked Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate if there was any way he could be compensated for loss of work.

He raised his issue during consultations conducted by Mr Usamate at the Nadi Civic Centre yesterday. “I got my termination letter on July 31, 2009,” the 65-year-old said.

“It was hand delivered and it still hurts today because I was not even 60 years old when I was given that letter.

“I was only 56 at the time and I was expecting to work until I was 60. “I hope that I can be compensated for those three years (from termination to turning 60). I regard that as being forced into unemployment.”

Mr Tuki added that he had written to the Legal Aid Commission to seek legal advice on the issue.

Mr Usamate said Mr Tuki’s issue fell outside of the laws governing employment grievances on loss of pay.

“Issues within six years, we can try to address, so for those issues you have raised — they are more than six years,” said Mr Usamate.

“And also for civil servants they are bound and treated as part of the essential industries and there are other provisions that will come into play in your particular case.

“Seeking legal advice or legal opinion is probably the best way forward. I can’t promise that I can do too much about it, but we will accept your letter and I will pass it on to the powers that be to have a look at.”

Mr Tuki responded by saying that the limitations which Mr Usamate spoke about were laws made by men. He said Government — as the lawmaker — had the power to amend laws to ensure people like him were compensated for loss of employment.

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