21 Sep 2012

Fiji regime says ILO delegation will be welcome back under new terms

6:28 pm on 21 September 2012

The interim Attorney-General of Fiji says the International Labour Organisation delegation was not expelled, but asked to leave at their earliest opportunity.

The delegation, headed by Judge Abdul Koroma from the International Court of Justice, left the country yesterday after a short meeting with Government officials.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum suggested the ILO delegation came with predetermined outcomes and were not independent.

The ILO Pacific Office in Suva says the Government blamed a miscommunication between ministries for their disagreement on the ILO's terms of reference, which originated from the Fiji Ministry of Labour.

Alex Perrottet reports.

"Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has issued a statement welcoming the ILO delegation back, but with new terms of reference. The scope of the mission would be to review the impact of the Government's Essential Industries Decree enacted last year, which unions claim has weakened workers' collective bargaining and union's access to workplaces. The new terms direct the ILO to genuinely assesses the situation of workers and employers without heeding only to what he calls a small clique of union leaders."