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Fiji and Trade Union Rights

18 July 2011

Fiji and Trade Union Rights

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions met today with officers of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (General Secretary Felix Anthony and Assistant General Secretary Rajeshwar Singh).

This meeting discussed the deterioration in civil and trade union rights in Fiji including physical attacks on union leaders and decrees which remove basic and fundamental rights.

Peter Conway, NZCTU Secretary, said that the combined effect of the Public Emergency Regulations which makes meetings of more than 5 persons illegal, the Fiji Media Decree which curtails press freedoms and decrees amending employment rights makes it extremely difficult for unions to operate at all in Fiji.

“Now two further decrees are proposed - around ‘Vital’ industries and ‘Critical’ industries. These decrees would make it almost impossible for unions to function and would effectively remove many union officials from their current positions”.

Peter Conway said that the NZCTU is joining the Australian Council of Trade Unions in a call to the Fijian Government to cease these attacks on union officials and worker rights.

“We are looking at all our options to support workers in Fiji. This will take the form of a broad based campaign involving meetings with the New Zealand Government and relevant employers, leafleting public events, providing information for members and discussion of possible bans and industrial action where appropriate.”

ENDS

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