5 Nov 2004

Widespread strike action expected in Fiji next month

3:03 pm on 5 November 2004

Fiji looks set to be crippled by widespread strike action next month involving 12,000 public servants.

Hospitals, airports, water supplies and other essential services could shut down if the breakdown in talks over pay and other allowances is not resolved.

The Confederation of Public Sector Unions - made up of the Public Service Association, the Nursing Association and the Teacher's Union - wants a 5% cost of living adjustment and a 15% rise in work related allowances for this year, based on inflation.

PSA and Teacher's Union members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, but ballot results are yet to come in for the Nursing Association.

However the chairman of the confederation, Rajeshwar Singh, says he expects the association to vote in a similar way.

"There are three affiliates of the confederation and under the Trade Unions Act they have to take it separately - 98% teachers, 94% Fiji Public Service Asssociation members and we have to wait for the Fiji Nursing Association today."

Mr Singh says the confederation has to give 28 days notice of any strike action.