2 September 2011
Human and trade union rights on trial in Fiji today
Today, the Council of Trade Unions and Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand have held a protest highlighting the civil and trade union rights that are being ignored in Fiji.
Daniel Urai, President of the Fiji Trade Union Congress and General Secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industries Employees, and his union organiser Nitin Gounder, appeared in Court today charged with unlawful assembly.
Helen Kelly, President of the CTU said “Daniel and Nitin were detained and questioned, apparently for having met with union members about collective negotiations with hotel management and earlier in the year, Felix Anthony of the FTUC was physically assaulted. The regime is perpetrating a deliberate attack on trade union rights by issuing decrees making it almost impossible for unions to function and removing internationally recognized civil rights of freedom of assembly and collective bargaining.”
Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand spokesperson Margaret Taylor said “the on-going persecution of trade union leaders and attacks on worker’s rights is further evidence of the Fijian government’s assault on human rights generally.”
“Amnesty International supports workers in Fiji and the Fiji labour movement in their struggle to defend their rights and calls on the Fijian government to immediately repeal the Public Emergency Regulations which allows it to violate key human rights while providing immunity to those committing such violations,” she adds.