Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:54 AM

Telekom Dispute

SI is now undergoing an industrial crisis period.

All industrial disputed parties' and Government of the day need to have open minds and enter into more constructive dialogues, to make use of the first opportunity to resolve any dispute capable of a trade dispute under the Trade Dispute Act.

We heard from Union lawyers with Telekom dispute that they have withdrawn from the conciliation process which aimed to resolve this dispute amicably at the first instance, since the employer failed to reserve all status quo of the matter.

In any case, issues raised by the Union, few capable to fall within trade dispute matters but the rest are not. It will be very interesting to see how the arbitrator decides on all the claims submitted by the Union.

Given the necessity of telecommunication services in SI, an interim agreement or resolution should be reached, whilst, substantive matters take its normal cause before the arbitration process.

Of course, this dispute capable of resulting in national crisis, hence, Prime Minister and Minister concerned and all parties must come with good faith, and draw up an interim agreement pending the Arbitration Award or High Court Ruling thereafter. Further prolonging this dispute is not in the best interest of all the public members of SI.

I am hoping to see the employer solicitors to take further step to the High Court, if all avenues for settlement talks failed. Hence, seeking High Court for necessary interim orders, inclusive of recalling workers to resume normal duties', whilst the substantive matters of this dispute take its normal cause before the arbitration tribunal, and thereafter if need be to the High Court.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Hiuare in Fiji and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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