1 Aug 2011

Fiji regime says new law on union dues not a backlash against unions

7:50 pm on 1 August 2011

Fiji's interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says a new law changing the way civil servants pay their union dues is not a deliberate attempt to make unions defunct.

From this Thursday the interim government will cease to deduct subscriptions from public service workers' pay packets.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the new measure is among changes to the Public Service Act aimed at protecting civil servants.

Reforms include specific protection from sexual harrassment, discrimination and basic rights to fair wages.

The Attorney-General says state employees are still free to join a trade union but they will have to pay their union dues themselves.

The regime has come under fire for what unions claim are increasing curbs on their activity, including intimidation and beating of union officials.