August 17, 2012

Pay rise halt

August 17, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

An eight to fifteen per cent proposed increase in wages for 10 employment sectors has been put on hold in order for a review by all sector wages councils to be implemented.

The proposed increase was for workers in Printing Trades, Wholesale and Retail Trades, Hotel and Catering Trades, Garment Industry, Sawmilling and Logging Industry, Road Transport, Building and  Civil and Electrical Engineering Trades, Manufacturing Industry, Mining and  Quarrying Industry and Security Services.

The review was highlighted in a notice from the Ministry of Information that stated: “The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment hereby gives notice that the Wages Council, in accordance with section 54 (b) of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007, has deferred the effective date of all the ten new Wages Regulations Orders 2012 from August 15 to October 31, 2012 in order for the respective Wages Councils to review all submissions made by the stakeholders.”

Several industry bodies had expressed concern about the perceived conflicting messages coming from the Wages Council, chaired by Father Kevin Barr, about the proposed increase.

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association chief executive Michael Wong said in a message to members on Wednesday: “We are aware of the confusing messages coming out on the proposed Wages Council orders that was supposed to come into effect, 15th August, 2012.

“Further confusion was caused by the public comments by the Chairman of the Wages Council that implied that a decision has been reached.

“Your secretariat has been seeking confirmation as to whether the messages has been agreed to by the Minister for Labour and that the Wages Regulation Order has been gazetted.”

Some industry bodies are understood to have similar concerns about the impact of proposed rises in pay levels would have on Fiji’s international competitiveness.

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