30 Jun 2011

Fiji union leader says regime beatings aim to intimidate workers

7:12 pm on 30 June 2011

Prominent Fiji trade unionist, Felix Anthony, says the beatings of union officials by members of the military-led regime are aimed at intimidating workers.

The national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress is in New Zealand for talks with unionists on how to respond to new curbs on workers' rights in Fiji.

Mr Anthony who'd previously been aligned with the interim government and been banned from New Zealand, had that restriction lifted recently.

In February he was beaten by soldiers for speaking out about the sugar industry, and last week another union official, Mohammed Khalil, was assaulted at work in front of his colleagues.

"Well I think the intention here is to intimidate workers, more particularly workers that are looking on at what's going on, and to try and ensure that no one actually speaks up and follows simple instruction."