8 Jan 2016

Fiji union says ILO talks in trouble

2:32 pm on 8 January 2016

A Fiji trade union leader says the government has railroaded discussions on International Labour Organisation standards by replacing the minister in negotiations.

An ILO mission to review obstacles to a required joint implementation plan is due in Fiji this month.

Fiji failed to submit the plan because unions say the government is infringing on workers' rights.

The Fiji Trades Union Congress head Felix Anthony says progress had been made with Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Semi Koroilavesau.

However the government replaced Mr Koroilavesau with Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma to lead government negotiations.

Mr Anthony says the union doesn't recognise Mr Sharma's authority in the negotiations.

"We sought clarification from government on the number of issues that we had already reached agreement on and so far nothing has been forthcoming from the government so we are not looking forward to any further discussions with government on this issues. We will await the mission and present our submissions to the mission."

Felix Anthony says the various parties are no closer to agreement and the ILO could insist on a Commission of Inquiry into Fiji if it is not satisfied with the situation.

Felix Anthony

Felix Anthony Photo: RNZ