Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 64 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 July 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


Fiji Union Protests on Wednesday

By Andrew Casey

A national union led protest, which should shut down all of Fiji, will go ahead next Wednesday despite the latest turmoil in that country, Fiji TUC General Secretary, Felix Anthony said today.

The trade union movement in Fiji has organised a nationwide protest to demonstrate their deep concern about the current crisis.

" We have got agreement from all civic groups to back the national closure of the country, under the broad theme that this is a Day for Peace and Democracy.

" I hope that unions in Australia, New Zealand, and around the world, can creatively use Wednesday as a day to demonstrate their support and solidarity with the workers of my country," Mr Anthony said.

The civic groups are campaigning for the restoration of the Constitution and a restoration of Law and Order.

Private Sector Backs Protest

Key private sector employers have decided to support the union demonstrations.

The demonstrations are also being backed by about a dozen civic groups including the powerful Methodist Church, the Citizens Constitutional Forum and important women's and social welfare organisations.

The decision to go ahead with the nationwide protests was confirmed this afternoon by Felix Anthony after meetings in the national capital Suva.

Tension High

Tension is very high in Fiji- especially in Suva - following the arrest of most of the leaders of the terrorist gang who forced out the Labour-led democratically elected government of Fiji.

" The capital is very quiet. The town seems almost deserted as people are holding their breath fearful of what might happen now that the Speight group have been arrested by the military," Mr Anthony said after the meeting of the civic groups.

The Fiji military are now holding more than 300 people associated with the George Speight gang after beginning arrests late on Wednesday night.

The Interim Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kubuabola released a mini-budget today in which he projected a negative economic growth of 15 per cent this year.

Throughout today there have been reports of pro-Speight uprisings and hostage taking - with rumours of a march by Speight supporters

During the day, in Labasa, - the main city on the second largest island of Fiji - the rebels had taken hold of the army barracks and for a short while rounded up Indo-Fijians and detained them in the camp.

While the Western half of the main island of Fiji still seems to be peaceful most of the capital shut down today because of fears of violence and terror.

Civic Groups Meet

Despite the danger civic groups met in Suva today to confirm they are committed to next week's democracy protests, campaigning for the return of law and order based on the 1997 Constitution.

A plan for a march has now been shelved because of the current political tensions.

But workers and employers have been asked to stay at home for the day and show their solidarity at a local level with the aims of the civic groups.

Fiji Chamber of Commerce president Joe Singh told Fiji media that the national protest will close down all activities including the shutting down of all business, schools, governments and statutory offices.

Smart Sanctions

The Chamber of Commerce is working with the TUC to try to come to an agreement about what further 'smart' sanctions could be supported.

These would particularly target the terrorist group leader George Speight and his supporters - rather than the broader community.

" We want to work together to find ways we can target, with smart sanctions, the business houses and the personalities who have conspicuously supported the terrorists, and worked to undermine Fiji's constitution and democratic institutions," Mr Anthony of the TUC said.

Mr Singh of the Chamber of Commerce said these actions are necessary and vitally important.

Mr Singh said he wanted to prevent the re-imposition of general trade bans that the TUC and its overseas union counterparts had threatened to re-introduce.

"I need not stress the very serious consequences both commercial and social that will arise for the people of Fiji should general trade union bans be re-introduced," Mr Singh told local media.

Joint Agreement

A joint agreement by the TUC and the private sector leadership was reached on Wednesday with the following proposals:

� A meeting to be held with the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo to outline and emphasise the need to deal with the current crisis within the framework of the 1997 constitution;

� Express to Ratu Iloilo the very deep concern of the total breakdown of law and order and the lack of ability and will, determination and commitment in the maintenance of law and order by the police and military authorities.

� Further express the concern of the apparent breakdown of the functions of the judicial system particularly by the discharge of an insurgent on grounds of alleged amnesty;

The signatories of the agreement are still waiting to meet with Ratu Iloilo to discuss these issues.

Offer Your Support

E-mail messages of solidarity and support should be sent for next Wednesday's Day of Protest to:

1) The Fiji TUC at mailto:[email protected]

2) One of the biggest private sector unions the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union at mailto:[email protected]

3) The main public sector union the Fiji PSA at mailto:[email protected]

Send copies of your union solidairty messages to one of the major Fiji media outlets The Fiji Post/fijilivewebsite at mailto:[email protected]


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 64 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Greg Sword Unsheathed
The NUW national secretary is set to be endorsed as ALP Federal president next week. He talks about the relationship between the two wings of the labour movement.
*  Unions: Phone Rage, Headaches and Stress
A comprehensive survey of the call centre industry conducted by the ASU has revealed an industry workplace culture dominated by excessive monitoring and stress.
*  Economics: And the Winner Is .... Sydney?
Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt looks at the export impact of the Sydney Olympics and asks if we'll win gold.
*  International: Western Sahara: Referendum Or War?
A June UN referendum in Western Sahara could have provided the people of Western Sahara a chance to exercise their right to self-determination and independence. It didn't.
*  History: The Union's Roots in Song
We look at some of the songs that kept working people going through their darkest hours.
*  Media: Unchaining the ABC
The ALP needs to rethink our public institutions to determine how they might better deliver the ends for which they were originally established.
*  Environment: Motorways Fail the Pollie Test
Our daily grind of congested roads, polluted air, and frustrated motorists is putting all and sundry to the test, and not least Liberal and Labor politicians.
*  Satire: Murdoch Launches Bid for Under-9s Netball Team
Sydney's lucrative junior league netball broadcasting market has been shaken by a bid by one of the world's most predatory entrepreneurs, Rupert Murdoch, to secure ownership of the most successful team in the league.
*  Review: Espionage a Trois
The Whitlams' brass section his teamed with some of the hippest cats in Sydney to make the sort of music you'll want to shoot baddies to.

»  McMeanies Skimp on Olympics Pay
»  Lawyers Pose as Students to Nail Workers
»  Fiji Union Protests on Wednesday
»  Casino Plumps for Penalty Rates
»  AWU�s Push For The Bush
»  Inquiry Lifts Lid on "SweetShops on Wheels"
»  Fair Traders Call for World Where People Matter
»  Accor Makes 'Cheeky' Olympics Offer
»  Sacking Threat Was �Group Therapy�
»  Doing It For The Love Of It
»  Deadline to Vote in ARM Poll Approaches
»  Grief Support for Workplace Tragedies
»  Workers Invited to Mark Federation

»  The Soapbox
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Viva Eavesdropping Jonesy
»  Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle
»  Crappiest Music Feedback

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):

Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio

[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW


 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]