16 May 2003

Fiji struggles to revive Tripartite Forum

10:51 am on 16 May 2003

The Fiji government's attempt to revive the Tripartite Forum comprising employer's representatives, trade unions and the state has run into trouble.

The Fiji Trade Union Congress says it will boycott the first meeting of the Forum in many years because it is full of government cronies.

At issue is whether the TUC and its rival trade union umbrella body, the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, FICTU, should both be represented on the Forum.

TUC general secretary, Felix Anthony, is quoted as saying the Forum should remain a tripartite one and if other bodies included, it would not remain tripartite.

The Tripartite Forum was formed in the 1970s to solve disputes in early stages and prevent industrial strife but has been defunct several times after the 1987 coups.