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August 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Former Wages Council chairperson, Father Kevin Barr said that his resignation should be taken positively by everyone as he has done this in good faith and to seek justice for Fiji workers.

“I have resigned in protest for workers because of the government's decision to cleave on to the 10 new Wages Regulations Orders 2012 until October 31,” Father Barr said.

“I am not protesting against all the employers but I am protesting against those who are trying to influence politicians and trying to dominate the 10 Wages Regulations Orders without taking into consideration the plight of the workers,” he added.

Although he has resigned, Father Barr still holds the plight of workers at heart, saying he continues to pursue justice for Fiji workers independently.

“I may have stepped down, but I am still fighting for the right of workers and I will continue to do so but independently.”

He also confirmed not receiving any response from the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Jone Usumate about the approval of his resignation.

He said he only received Usumate messages through the media.

However, the minister disputes this saying he had sent his approval to Father Barr via email.

FijiLive also asked Usumate about Father Barr’s successor which has not been decided yet.

“It would be the deputy chairpersons looking after the Wages Council, but we have to look at the list of names to confirm,” Usumate said.

Until then, he said all queries in regards to the Wages Council could be directed to him.

“The Wages council will always remain an independent body and would not have any political or corporate influence on it,” Usumate said.

He reiterated that under the requirements of the Employment Promulgation Order, when the Wages Council makes a draft Wages Regulation Order, the public would be invited to make submissions before the council considers any decision.

“We would have appreciated if Father Barr could have been with us during the whole process,” Usumate said.

By Indrani Krishna


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