27 Jun 2013

Fiji union goes to court over mill redundancies

4:38 am on 27 June 2013

A union representing public service workers in Fiji is going to court over the sudden redundancies of some 200 employees of the Fiji Hardwood Corporation.

The government-owned enterprise made 187 workers redundant on Friday with thirty days' leave in lieu of notice and redundancy pay.

The General Secretary of the Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says employment regulations have been breached as the correct processes weren't followed, including giving thirty days' notice of redundancy, and giving workers' the opportunity for consultation.

Mr Singh says the corporation's board could have envisaged this situation years ago.

"Suddenly you're dropping this bombshell on our employees. Why hasn't this board or the boards that were there done something about it? Why didn't they bring in state of the art machinery? Why didn't they look after what was happening? What did they do to correct the situation at the time?"

Mr Singh says the union is seeking an order from the Employment Relations Court that the status quo be maintained for the workers.