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Fiji Strikes - Govt. Won't Stop Union Boycott - PM

The Prime Minister Helen Clark has sent out a warning to unions planning to disrupt trade with Fiji – while the Government would take no action against them, the same could not be said for disgruntled New Zealand employers.

Speaking today at the post cabinet press conference, the Miss Clark said the Government did not support the unions planned boycott of goods to and from Fiji.

She warned unions they could be sued by angry employers who lost money because of the boycott.

The Council of Trade Unions are planning targetted strikes tomorrow in solidarity with their counterparts in Fiji who are protesting against the military's negotiations with coup leader George Speight. The action will affect all goods flowing to and from the islands and is likely to dent New Zealand’s positive trade balance with Fiji.

Miss Clark said while the Government supported sporting sanctions against Fiji, it did not support “unilateral economic sanctions… because they have not generally proven to be effective by themselves.”

However Miss Clark would not rule out future economic sanctions at a later date as part of a concerted international effort.

Asked whether two Fijian swimmers currently attending a tournament in Christchurch would be allowed to stay and compete for their country – Mrs Clark said she would have to examine the situation before she could make a decision.

Under the present sporting sanctions the Immigration Department is supposed to refuse entry visas to all Fijians who play sport for their country at national level.

But in this case the two women swimmers were understood to be given an exemption by Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel.

© Scoop Media

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