FTUC representatives deliberated on how they could effectively utilize ILO Conventions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining to improve working conditions of workers in Fiji.
ILO Bangkok Office Workers Specialist for Asia Pacific, Mr Arun Kumar enlightened the twenty five selected union executives, youth & women representatives and young lawyers on international best practices that could be applied to Fiji employment relations. He emphasized on the importance of financial literacy for leaders and how effective it had been in negotiations in the region. The participants were encouraged to persevere with the practice of basing negotiations in line with, and above, the ILO ratified conventions by Fiji and thinking ‘outside the box’ of reduction in labour costs as the only strategy to cut company costs. The workshop deliberated on strategies on how best to justify their log of claims. The delegates also reinforced the idea of negotiating on matters of interests and not ” matters of rights” as it was already stipulated in legislation.
At the end of the two day program, delegates presented their union based workplans which will be implemented in the short term and monitored on a monthly basis. A follow up training is being planned to monitor progress in late August this year. The FTUC is grateful to the ILO for the technical and financial support for this workshop.