Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

300 hotel workers strike in Fiji

300 hotel workers strike in Fiji

By Byron
January 29, 2014

http://fightback.org.nz/2014/01/29/300-hotel-workers-strike-in-fiji/

On December 31 close to three hundred workers at Sheraton Fiji, Sheraton Villas, and Westin Denarau Island Resort took industrial action. Workers held a spontaneous protest against the unilateral removal of their staff benefits. The strike was initiated by the land owning committee (LOC) after maternity leave and overtime pay entitlements were taken away.

“In fourteen days we will go back to work… sort things out. All those temporary staff who were supposed to be permanent, they have to be made permanent and those who are owed maternity leave and sick leave etcetera – they have to be paid,” LOC spokesperson Simione Masicola told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

“It might not seem like much but we were given a few hampers during Christmas celebrations, this was always given out to staff in past years. Some of us depended on these benefits because most of us come from poor backgrounds, so when they reduced this benefit, we were very upset over it.” Sikeli Gavidi, head of the LOC told the Fiji Times.

Following the strike an agreement was reached between the workers and the Sheraton within hours. However the government claimed the strike was illegal due to notice not being given by the union. Six unionists were arrested, including Gavidi and general secretary of the National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries Daniel Urai, who was escorted from his office by fifteen police officers.

All six pleaded not guilty when they appeared in court, on the grounds that the strike was initiated by the LOC and not the union. The matter has been adjourned until March 17 for further disclosures to be submitted to the defence, but in the meantime the six have had travel bans imposed as well as being required to report to the police station every Friday. Police are questioning others involved in the strike.

“This is on-going persecution of trade unionists in Fiji,” Felix Anthony, Fiji Trade Union Congress general secretary, told Radio Australia. “This interim regime has an agenda against trade unions in this country and this has been evidence over the past few years, with all the decrees that come in, the essential industries decree – basically the agenda here is to kill the trade unions.

“There was absolutely no need for the police to take into custody the workers and Mr Urai and keep them overnight, there’s absolutely no justification for that…what we see here is basically an abuse of powers.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Now We Are 18: Scoop’s Kai And Korero

The Scoop Foundation invites Scoop's friends and supporters to celebrate Scoop’s 18th birthday in style... Have a mulled wine starter when you come in from winter outside, and then join friends, colleagues and strangers around a table to discuss our vision for the future of Aotearoa New Zealand. More>>

New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Trump Is A Good Thing

At this point, its worth noting there’s one good reason for being grateful that Donald Trump is in the White House... As candidate and President alike, Trump has been a bad salesman for the policies he espouses. More>>

Scoop HiveMind: Making Housing Affordable – Let’s Crack It

Welcome to our second interactive HiveMind exploration on the topic of housing affordability. This is an opportunity for you to think about and share your perspectives on this issue and what, if anything, needs to be done... More>>

ALSO: