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Politics affecting family life in Pa Enua

Friday October 17, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
CIWA President Anthony Turua. 14101628 CIWA President Anthony Turua. 14101628

Party politics in the outer islands during the recent general elections have had a negative effect on workers and their families, says workers rights advocate Anthony Turua.

Turua – President of the Cook Islands Workers Association – has expressed concern over reports of employees in the Outer Islands being “... persecuted or being victimised due to the outcome of election results, or for being affiliated with the party of their choice.”
“Employees are helpless with limited counselling or legal aid service available on the outer islands to remedy their situation, and are on the verge of leaving the islands and moving on overseas for better opportunity and escaping from internal politics,” he wrote in a statement.
“Even politics have affected extended family ties and impacts on their work areas and social activities.”
Turua said employees have been scared to speak up with fears over their job situation, and must be overtly cautious of what they say or how they act as it may affect their job security.
According to documents filed in the High Court, employment-related issues were cited in petitions concerning the constituencies in Penrhyn and Vaipae-Tautu in Aitutaki, but mainly concerned allegations over job appointments.
Turua said he sympathises with affected employees and CIWA members, and called on management to treat all employees equally and fairly in accordance with provisions outlined in the Employment Relations Bill.
“If there are signs of abuse, harassment, and victimisation by employers or management, they are clearly in breach of Part 5 - Discrimination, Harassment and Duress of the Employment Relation Bill Act 2012,” says Turua.
“What we witness with our own employees in the Outer Islands is they love to debate during socialising sessions, but when it comes to putting evidence onto a document they back off due to family and community respect,” he said.
“They continue to live in a world of silence for the sake of their job security and families.”
“We hail as the best paradise island in the Pacific with friendly smiles and friendly people, and please,  I urge our people not to let us spoil this by being greedy and harassing each other because of the outcome of the political results,” added Turua.        - ES

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