“ The workers of Fiji have been hoodwinked” says Mr Felix Anthony, National Secretary, FTUC. “Using FNPF funds for relief package from members accounts itself is no relief, in fact, an additional burden”, he stated.
Mr Anthony has further stated that ” It is important to understand the purpose of FNPF and that is to ‘ensure that workers have a secure and meaningful retirement from their hard-earned savings accumulated during their working life’. This is what the vision of FNPF states. The primary role of FNPF is to ensure a decent pension scheme for retirees. The current balances as it stands actually does not give 75% of workers an option for pension on retirement. Clearly FNPF is not serving its purpose. How is it possible to live a secure and decent life with $16 a week for majority of workers? Yet Government once again encourages workers to withdraw from their retirement funds abdicating its own responsibility to provide for workers in these very difficult times.”
The FTUC is disappointed that there is no immediate assistance to workers in the budget other than helping themselves to their retirement funds. While we welcome the incentives given to Employers and businesses, we are astounded by the fact that these businesses are on their knees in just one week. They have been doing well over the years and yet within a week let workers go on leave without pay. Some of these businesses are big employers who have simply forgotten their social responsibility to their workers and can afford to keep paying for the time being. We do not support these employers taking advantage of the situation. Employers who have the ability to pay and are taking undue advantage of the situation should not benefit from the incentives provided by this budget and deny those that are in real need.
Please click on this link to read the full press release of Fiji Trades Union Congress and concerns raised by FTUC National Secretary , Brother Felix. Anthony : PRESS RELEASE – COVID 19 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET RESPONSE WORKERS GROSSLY HOODWINKED