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The planned national day of protest by the Fiji Trades Union Congress on 03 May will go ahead.
That is the word from FTUC president Daniel Urai.
When asked about the national protest as stated in the FTUC Calendar of Events this year, Urai said, “It’s going ahead”.
But he was not in a position to reveal other details, saying he has been very busy this week signing collective agreements with hotel properties in Denarau, Nadi.
Urai is also the general secretary of the National Union of Hotel and Catering Employees.
His union represents most hotel and resort workers in the country.
Asked if the signing of the collective agreements by the hotel owners in Denarau was to deter hotel workers from participating in the protest, he said he was not in a position to comment on that.
He said different hotel properties had different views.
The planned protest by the FTUC will coincide with the big Asian Development Bank meeting in Denarau, Nadi, from May 2-5.
At least 3000 people from around the world are expected in the country at that time, with most of them likely to stay in hotels in and around the Denarau area.
FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony declined to comment on the planned national day of protest when contacted.
It is understood that union leaders have been urging members to use Sick Leave and Family Care Leave on the day if the permit for the protest is not approved.
However, some trade unions affiliated to the FTUC appear to have different views on the matter.
One trade union representative said he has told his members to decide for themselves what they wanted to do on May 3.
“It’s all happening because of frustration. Unions are unable to fulfill their roles and duties for members because employers don’t negotiate,” the trade union representative said. “The protest, if it happens, will be effective.”
Another union representative said the idea behind the planned protest was to get employers to the table and talk on terms and conditions of work.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association is hoping that the planned national day of protest will be resolved in an amicable and sensible way by the parties involved.
Association president Dixon Seeto said: “We hope they look at what’s best in terms of our reputation and there is no disruption to the tourism industry.”
Seeto said the association’s board meeting would be held today and there was no doubt that the matter would be discussed.
If the protest goes ahead as planned on May 3, then a lot of services are expected to be disrupted in most sectors.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
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