Fiji Military Government Unnerved by Union Info Campaign

Fiji’s Military rulers have reacted angrily to an international union campaign to raise awareness over the stripping away of workers’ rights in the Pacific nation. The launching of the DestinationFiji.org website, aims at informing potential tourists about abuses of international labour standards and invites people to protest to their own governments to step up pressure for ending the government’s drive to deprive workers of union representation.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary said "Fiji’s military dictatorship might have the power to stifle criticism, discussion and freedom of association at home, but they can’t stop the world’s unions from telling it as it is. People thinking of taking holidays there need to know what they might be walking into."

According to Equal Times some 60% of wage and salary earners in Fiji live below the poverty line. It also describes how the regime has imposed a set of decrees to restrict freedom of association and rejected constitution reforms proposed by an eminent panel. The reforms would have invalidated the unilateral decrees and opened the door for a return to democracy after years of political turmoil and the seizing of power by military heavyweight Frank Bainimarama.

"All the draconian decrees are there for everyone to see and there is no running away from the fact that it blatantly violates workers’ rights and human rights", says Fiji Trade Union Congress National Secretary Felix Anthony.

The campaign is supported by the ITUC, the Australian and New Zealand national union centres ACTU and NZCTU and their counterparts in other countries.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 02 04 or +32 476 621 018