Tribunal terminates WAF and union proceedings

National Union of Workers general secretary Felix Anthony, Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya and WAF workers in court yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE proceedings called before the Tribunal in Suva between the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and the National Union of Workers (NUW) was terminated by Magistrate Andrew See yesterday.

This came after the union sought an order from the court to address the issue of contracts of 2075 WAF employees against the collective agreement made by the two parties and also issue an order to consider the notice period of the contracts.

Mr See made a recommendation that parties, including senior management of WAF, undertake an extensive review of the outstanding issues in order to resolve some compliance concerns that may have resulted in the termination of the workers on April 30, 2019.

He also recommended that all other matters raised by the union in relation to the collective agreement and employment notice issued in February this year be taken to the Arbitration Court.

NUW general secretary Felix Anthony sought an explanation from the WAF lawyers on which provisions in the Employment Relations Act did the employer (WAF) decide to terminate the contracts of the employees.

Mr Anthony said the action to terminate the workers’ contracts was a decision of the employer and not the union.

He claimed that the decision to terminate and not renew the contracts of the workers was because of economic issues.

He said they had been informed that WAF did not have the funds and the budget until August this year.

Mr See said there was fairly slow information coming from the employer in regards to the specifics of information of employees.

WAF lawyer Gul Fatima informed the court they would be providing information relating to the names of workers to the NUW who were terminated after Mr Anthony had wanted to file an application in court for WAF to issue the list of names.

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