FSGWU Annual Delegates Conference 2015
The FSGWU held its Annual Delegates Conference on Saturday 25th April in Lautoka. Delegates from the Union’s Branches attended the Conference. The meeting adopted the Annual Reports and elected its officers. The Elections were conducted by the Fiji Elections Office in accordance with the Union Constitution. Nominations were called for through advertisements in the newspapers. All National and Branch Officials of the Union were elected unopposed. A clear sign of solidarity and mandate to those elected to press on without distractions. Those elected are:
National President: Nasoni Naqelekalou
National Vice President: Mariappa
General Secretary: Felix Anthony
National Treasurer: Peni Vakau
The National President, Vice President and National Treasurer are elected for a term of 2 years while the General Secretary is elected for a term of 4 years.
The Conference has also taken a decision to amalgamate with the Construction, Energy and Timber Workers Union. Secret ballots would be conducted to seek the mandate of all members. The Union will also be seeking a name change as it has already amalgamated with the Municipal Workers Union, The Tropik Wood Employees and Allied Workers Union and is in the process of amalgamating with the PAFCO Employees Union. This is in conformity with the policy of FTUC on amalgamations of smaller Unions.
The Conference also discussed the plight of seasonal workers in the Sugar Industry. With the reduction in crop size from a high of about 4 million tons to 1.8 million tons, workers are now facing longer slack season without any alternative work or source of income. Delegates raised concern that no assistance was forthcoming from Government or Fiji Sugar Corporation. The Delegates have called on the Union to pursue this matter with Government and the European Union which has pledged substantial support to the Industry excluding the workers. Delegates also raised serious concerns about the Industry and their job security.
The Delegates also discussed the latest agreement signed in Geneva between FTUC, FCEF and Government, and hoped to see an improvement to industrial relations in Fiji. The delegates called upon FTUC to ensure that the ENI Decree is revoked and workers in Tropik Wood and Municipal Councils have their rights restored as soon as possible.
Concern was also raised at the delay in the Ministry of Labour registering the amalgamation of the two Unions. It is now about 2 years since the members of both the Unions had voted to amalgamate and lodged registration application with the Ministry.