The Minister for Labour, Mr Jone Usamate had a fruitful meeting with the ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder in Geneva on Friday 13 June 2014.
During the meeting, the Minister assured Mr Ryder that Fiji was committed to the principles of the decent and productive work that was the hallmark of the ILO.
The meeting took place at the margins of the International Labour Conference, where Fiji was represented by a tripartite Delegation that included Workers Representative, Mr Daniel Urai and Employers Representative, Mr Harvey Probert.
The Minister was pleased to note that the historic protocol and recommendation on Forced Labour had been agreed during the Conference. This was a major achievement and it will have a significant impact in addressing the plight of those who suffer from this scourge.
The ILO Director-General expressed his appreciation that work on the September 17 national elections had progressed well, and that discussions on the ILO Direct Contacts Mission to Fiji were progressing well.
The contacts mission of the ILO will be visiting Fiji shortly after the elections in September 2014.
The Minister took the time to also inform Mr Ryder of the regional work that Fiji was doing in partnerships with other Pacific countries.
“We have just finished the final draft of the Papua New Guinea Occupational Safety & Health Bill, and a copy of this was presented to the PNG Secretary for the Department of Labour; Mr George Vaso in Geneva. We are now looking at progressing our assistance to Kiribati in the area of Labour Inspection,” said the Minister.
The Director-General congratulated the Minister for Fiji’s willingness to be of assistance to other Pacific Island nations.
The ILO Director-General was also informed that Fiji had just completed the review of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP) and that this has been possible through robust social dialogue with workers and employers reps, through a total of 38 one-day discussion meetings conducted over a 2 year period.
Mr Ryder advised the Minister that he was pleased with the positive social dialogue in Fiji, and he hopes that the direct contacts mission will achieve the desired outcomes for all parties.