29 Mar 2007

Fiji interim administration warns against public sector industrial action

1:33 pm on 29 March 2007

Fiji's interim government is warning public service unions to expect a strong response should they decide to take industrial action.

Six public service unions have either held or are about to hold secret ballots in response to the government's proposed five percent pay cut and reduction in retirement age.

The Permanent Secretary of the Public Service, the Public Enterprise and the Public Sector Reform, Taina Tagicakibau, says contingency plans are in place to ensure a skeleton service is provided in the case of a strike.

But she says she is not expecting public workers to take industrial action because they would be breaking the law and therefore risk losing their jobs.

"Times are not normal, the members would, one - not expect a silent response from government, there can be reaction. We have public order regulations in place and industrial action labour rights are curtailed."

A meeting is to take place tomorrow between unions and members of the government.