10 Aug 2011

Amnesty International calls for repeal of Fiji's essential industries decree

9:50 am on 10 August 2011

Amnesty International has added its voice to calls for a repeal of Fiji's new decree for Essential National Industries.

It says the decree gazetted last week would drastically restrict workers' rights.

The body says decree number 35, which has yet to be enacted, violates international law and Fiji's human rights obligations.

It also says the latest measures open a new flank in a wider attack on unions in Fiji.

Amnesty International says independent trade unions are sorely needed because Fiji's failing to deliver decent work to its people and forty percent of them live below the poverty line.

It says the decree and the arrests of Fiji Trades Union Congress President Daniel Urai and union staff member Dinesh Gounder violate fundamental human rights including the right to assembly and association and the right to organise.

The decree states it aims to ensure the viability and sustainability of industries essential to Fiji's economy.