The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has formed a inter-agency committee to address employment related concerns and complaints raised by workers and employers living on the Island of Taveuni.
To achieve this, the Ministry today conducted awareness training for a total of 23 participants at the Somosomo Community Hall in Taveuni.
The participants, including representatives from the Taveuni Advisory Council, Tikina Council, workers and employers operating on the Island, were trained on the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) 2007, which included laws pertaining to Child Labour, and the Ministry’s principal functions and responsibilities.
The Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate said this initiative is a direct result of the Labour Road Shows conducted by the Ministry on the Island in the past two years.
“During our road shows it was noted that there is a need to increase awareness on the Island amongst the employers and workers, therefore, the Ministry planned to form a committee comprising of Officers who are in contact with the people on a daily basis,” Mr Usamate said.
The Committee which will comprise of 7 to 10 officers will provide periodic reports to the Ministry on complaints received from workers, employers and stakeholders. Issues on Child labour, OHS and National Employment Centre will also be received by the Committee.
“This initiative is part of Government’s commitment and effort to make all its Services accessible to all Fijian’s, especially to those Fijian’s living in rural and remote areas of the country,” Minister said.
He added that as developments increase on the island, managing employment relations is imperative and necessary.
“This will build more cordial relationships between the employers and workers and enable us to achieve safe, conducive and harmonious work environments,” he said.
While addressing the participants today the Minister shared the responsibilities of the Ministry under the 2013 Constitution on ensuring workers’ rights to fair employment practices and right to work and just minimum wage.
“We are here today asking you to join us in partnership, and help us effectively deliver these provisions to our people,” Mr Usamate said.
Taveuni Police Station Officer in charge, Mr Beniame Rokoua said this is a good initiative because ‘what people on the ground really want is their problems and grievances to be attended to.’
“This is a very good initiative and one that will benefit the people of Taveuni alot. Our office is constantly in contact with the Tikina Council and the council representatives are consistently in contact with the people, therefore, the awareness and resolution of complaints will be made much easier and effective,” Mr Rokoua said.
Mr Usamate thanked the participants for availing themselves and assisting the Ministry to make services accessible the people of Taveuni.