25 Jun 2007

Fiji unions to continue with proposal to strike but open to negotiations

1:55 pm on 25 June 2007

Fiji's Confederation of Public Sector Unions says it plans to strike from July 19th but remains open to negotiation until then.

The Confederation's senior industrial officer, Nirbhay Singh, says they renewed their notice of strike action in the wake of a disappointing response from the interim cabinet.

This follows a breakdown with the interim government over a union proposal presented to Cabinet last week offering alternatives to their grievances which include the five percent pay cut and lowering the retirement age to 55.

Mr Singh says they also stressed that they needed a reply by the 21st of July which the government did but it wasn't the response they were expecting.

"And unfortunately when they wrote back and declined to give us a positive feedback we were obliged to submit a notice otherwise they would have lot the mandate already given to us so that's the reason for the notice to be delivered."

Mr Singh says their new proposal included the deferment of payments, and to stagger the restoration of the five percent pay cuts starting this xmas.

He says the interim government however, put that proposal on hold until they've spoken to other unions not involved in the strike and would then give an integrated response to everyone.