WAF: Fiji Trade Union Congress Relies on Fake News for National Protest
Fiji One News has discovered that the Fiji Trade Union Congress has planned to organize a national protest based on false information posted by a fake Facebook account.
Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate said he is surprised that FTUC relied on a fake Facebook news account that quoted him.
He said he is disappointed with FTUC for misleading some of the employees of Water Authority of Fiji.
According to the fake FB account, the Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate said during a press conference on the 28th of April, that the terminations will involve 600 permanent workers and about 2300 who were employed on contract basis.
This is not true and a press conference was not held, he said.
The post was later deleted.
He said he was on a overseas trip last week and he did not speak or say anything related to this at all.
“People shouldn’t be manipulated. Workers are very important in this country. Unions have important roles. I am a former Trade Unionist and fought for the worker’s rights. People shouldn’t be manipulated. Workers looks after their families. They have their own issues. Government has done so much for workers in this country. They shouldn’t be putting out these false stories,” he said.
The Water Authority of Fiji also confirmed that 300 projects are not on hold.
Sekove Ulunivau Water Authority of Fiji Acting General Manager Operations, said: “It’s sad that they’ve been misinformed by the Union in regards to their future. But in fact, they are part of the WAF family. When new projects come in, we engage them back depending on their skill sets and requirements.”
He said WAF employs permanent and part-time workers, a system that the Water Authority of Fiji has practiced over the years.
The Water Authority of Fiji management team met with the staff at the Wailoku Depot in Suva this afternoon to clear the air.
In a press statement issued this evening, the Water Authority of Fiji stated that “using fake news is never a resort to try to convince people.”
WAF Chairman Bhavesh Kumar Patel said: “Felix [Anthony] and the Union do not care about workers, they do not even bother to verify basic information but are ready to lead the workers down the path to strike the same workers who pay his salary.”
According to WAF, about 600 staff had successfully passed their performance assessment and will be receiving contract renewals.
“The reason we did not announce this earlier is because the performance exercise was being undertaken and this is a highly confidential exercise until the results are finalized, which they are now,” said Patel.
As WAF does every year, the upcoming projects have been identified and advertised.