Sunday, November 04, 2012

Union Calls on President to Stop Parroting Illegal Regime Stance

The President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s recent comments and condemnation of Trade Unions is unfortunate and a clear indication of him being unaware of the Decrees he puts his signature to. It may be worthwhile to remind the President that it is he who allowed the Regime to impose Decrees that violate International Labour Standards which are responsible for Fiji appearing before the US Trade Representative.
The President is also in a position to sign another decree revoking or repealing those provisions of the Decrees that are not consistent with the International Labour Organisation Core Conventions. He has chosen not to do the right thing and worse still, embark on blaming the Trade Union Movement for being disruptive.

The FTUC will not accept any form of suppression of Workers’ Rights. The President must understand that the Country cannot move forward as he seeks when people’s rights are suppressed and denied. He as head of State has a responsibility to ensure that the Government acts responsibly and honors its International Obligations to respect the rights of all people.

The President has failed to do this. His failure should rest with him and no one else; not the Trade Union Movement which is trying its best to keep the Regime honest. Now we have the responsibility to also keep the President honest. Surely, the President cannot be asking the Trade Union Movement not to speak of the violations of workers’ and human rights. He cannot be at all serious about his pronouncements.

We also remind the President that Trade Unionists are elected representatives of Workers and have the necessary mandate to speak and act on issues that impact workers more so on those issues that deny workers their rights. We note that he does not possess that mandate and therefore should refrain from parroting the Regime line or lecturing the Trade Unions.

We call upon the President to admit his failure and direct the regime to revoke the Decrees that violate International Labour Standards and ensure that all citizens’ rights are respected in Fiji.

Felix Anthony
National Secretary



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