- June 13, 2023
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Honourable Agni Deo Singh addressed the International Labour Conference (ILC) Plenary at the 111th Session of the ILC in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, 9 June 2023 at 8.50 pm Fiji time.
Minister Singh in his address highlighted that the new People’s Coalition Government is firmly committed to safeguarding democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Fiji.
He added that it embarks on a momentous journey of political transformation and is a manifestation of the diversity and unity of the Fijian people, as it brings together three political parties representing a wide range of views and interests.
“One of the key priorities of the Government is to foster a conducive and harmonious labour environment in Fiji, which has been adversely affected by years of non-compliance with international labour standards, curtailment of trade union rights, and absence of social dialogue.”
“The Coalition Government recognizes that decent work is indispensable for sustainable development, social justice, and peace.”
“We are fulfilling that through a process of reforming laws, including proper consultations with our tripartite partners to ensure the views of the Employers, Workers and stakeholders are taken into account.”
“We have removed contractual employment in the civil service and have increased the retirement age of workers to 60 years to ensure our workers enjoy long-term security of employment as well as help retain our skilled workers.”
“Fiji has reconstituted its Employment Relations Advisory Board in line with ILO Convention 144 to ensure employers, workers and government have an equal voice.”
“It allows the spirit of tripartism and good faith employment relations to be at the center of discussions in the newly constituted Employment Relations Advisory Board. We recognize that this approach will strengthen our ability to meet both domestic and global challenges and workforce demands.”
Minister Singh further highlighted that Fiji is resolved to working closely with the ILO and its tripartite constituents to achieve decent work for all and appreciated the support and assistance that the ILO has provided to Fiji over the years, especially during the difficult times of political instability and crisis.
“We are committed to addressing the concerns raised by the committee of experts and plan to submit our report by September and we look forward to strengthening our cooperation and partnership with the ILO in the future,” added Minister Singh.
The Fiji Government delegation to the ILC consists of the Employment Minister, Honourable Agni Deo Singh as the head of the delegation; the Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), Mr Kameli Batiweti as employers’ representative; the General Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Mr Felix Anthony as workers’ representative; the Acting Permanent Secretary for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Mr Samuela Moce and Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Nations Organisation, Mr Luke Daunivalu.
The Honourable Minister for Employment was honoured to address this 111th Session of the ILC on behalf of Fiji as his previous involvement with the ILO until this annual conference has been as a workers’ representative.
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