Global Unions

Military dictatorship in Fiji determined to crush unions

Military dictatorship in Fiji determined to crush unions
31 August 2011: On September 2, Daniel Urai, general secretary of the IUF-affiliated Fijian National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries Employees (NUHCTIE) and union organiser Nitin Goundra will go on trial for “unlawful assembly”. Their real “crime” is to have met and advised members about pending collective bargaining negotiations with hotel management. The case is just one in a long line of incidents of assault, harassment and intimidation of union leaders in Fiji over recent months.

Fiji has been under a military dictatorship since 2006. In 2009 the Public Emergency Regulation gave powers to the government to ban any and all assembly in Fiji. Specific articles of the regulation gave police sweeping authority to limit freedom of movement and to arrest and detail people. The military government has also issued several decrees specifically aimed at curtailing labour rights.

However, the anti-union actions really stared to gather pace on July 29 when the government promulgated the Essential Industries (Employment) Decree which the Fiji Trade Union Congress says ’effectively abolish all trade unions in Fiji”. On August 4 this was followed by another decree prohibiting check-off facilitates for all public sector workers.

A global campaign has now been launched to demand the government repeals the July 29 decree and other anti-union measures and stops the intimidation and harassment of trade union officials.

Click here to send a message to the Fijian authorities.

For more information, read the full story on the IUF website.