Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says the government is correcting the fundamentals of democracy that was destroyed by those in Opposition now as the Employment Relations Amendment Bill was tabled by Attorney General Siromi Turaga under Parliamentary Standing Order 51.
However Opposition MP, Jone Usamate says they do not agree that this should be discussed using Parliamentary Standing Order 51.
Professor Prasad says the previous government passed legislation to further curtail the rights of the workers and Order 51 was used to do that.
He says the people see this as an urgent Bill because consultation with those that mattered have already taken place.
Usamate says Turaga needs to know that Fiji is not the only country in the world that has not fully ratified all the ILO labour conventions.
Usamate says the group that is in government portray themselves as the best chance for democracy and have talked about the importance of the parliament but for them as representatives of the people they should discuss these things.
He says just because someone says does not mean they do it.
He asks why it is not going through the committee for consultations.
While tabling the Bill, Turaga says it amends the definition of essential service and industry particularly section 185 of the Act without delay.
He says this is necessary in order to restore the rights of workers and union’s rights and to bring Fiji’s employment legislation in compliance with international labour standards.
He says Fiji is under increasing pressure to bring its employment legislation in compliance with fundamental ILO conventions that Fiji has ratified including the ILO freedom of association.
The Bill will be debated in parliament tomorrow.
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