August 20, 2012

No formal resignation from Barr

Timoci Vula
Monday, August 20, 2012

THE Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has not received any formal notice of Wages Council chairperson Father Kevin Barr's resignation.

Minister Jone Usamate last night confirmed this saying neither he nor his permanent secretary Taito Waqa had received any formal resignation.

Fr Barr told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that he had resigned from his position on Friday in protest for workers on poor wages because of the decision to put on hold the 10 new Wages Regulation Orders (WROs) 2012 until October-end this year.

He had also reasoned that the government was allowing employers to dominate the 10 WROs without considering the workers' plight.

In response, Mr Usamate said the ministry would implement the final WROs after due process was completed as required under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP).

He said the ministry was just following the "good faith consultation" process required under the ERP.

But he added: "Father Barr has just thrown in the towel before the consultation process is completed."

"Fr Barr should have the patience and independency to complete his assignment and review the proposed WROs through the respective Wages Councils before recommending to the minister the councils' final proposals on the WROs," Mr Usamate said.

He said that final phase in the consultation process was required under Section 54(6) of the ERP that stated the minister may refer the proposed WRO to the respective Wages Council for reconsideration if he had concerns or reservations about it.

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