20 Jul 2011

Critical industries legislation nothing new says Fiji's interim Attorney General

12:38 pm on 20 July 2011

Fiji's interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says legislation governing union activity in critical industries is nothing new.

Senior union officials have been campaigning abroad about increasing curbs on unions in Fiji including plans to exclude them from representing workers in critical industries like the airline sector.

A draft decree on vital industries has been circulating, adding to fears of Fiji and overseas workers rights' organisations that the regime wants to smash the power of unions.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was asked about the union officials' campaign and whether any such decree was in the offing.

"Time will tell but the point is if there is going to be a decree they are not telling you that under the old trade disputes act there were numerous industries that were marked as critical industries for example tourism, the nursing services, the police services. Why didn't they go out campaigning then?"

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says if a new law is introduced it should be looked at on its merits.