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Fiji Cargo Bans From Midday Tuesday

Import News from the Importers Institute

17 June 2000 - Fiji Cargo Bans From Midday Tuesday

(Press Release NZ Council of Trade Unions 16/06/00 17:52:00)

A meeting of all unions in Wellington [on 16 June 2000] resolved that the cargo bans foreshadowed at the union meeting on the 1st June will be actioned with effect from midday on Tuesday 20 June 2000.

The decision was made after considering a detailed report and recommendations from former CTU President Ken Douglas and in response to a call from the International Confederation of Trade Unions (of which Mr Douglas is the Asia Pacific President) to all unions internationally to take action.

The President of the Council of Trade Unions Ross Wilson said that the CTU is calling on all New Zealand workers to refuse to handle goods destined for or received from Fiji at all points of the production and transport chain and that unions would be reporting back to union members and employers accordingly.

"The ban will be reviewed at the expiration of 7 days in the context of other developments" Mr Wilson said.

"The CTU and unions have already alerted the business community and have had discussions with the Fiji Business Council" Mr Wilson said. "I think that most New Zealanders understand the need for economic and other pressure on Fiji to ensure a return to constitutional democracy."

"Ken Douglas reported to the meeting that there was strong support within Fiji for such action and workers there understand the need for short term hardship in the struggle for the return of democratic freedom."

* * *

[The Editor replies:] This boycott will hurt mainly the victims of Mr Speight - the thousands of Fijian workers of Indian extraction who work in the apparel industry. The Importers Institute and the Apparel & Textile Federation had earlier urged trade unions to use their heads as well as their hearts. It didn't work.

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