8 Dec 2011

Fiji regime told it's gone beyond acceptable in treatment of unionists

3:31 pm on 8 December 2011

New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions says a resolution by the International Labour Organisation condemning the persecution of unionists by the interim Fiji government sends a powerful message to the regime.

The CTU president says Fiji must listen to the call from the ILO's 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting this week in Kyoto that it safeguard workers rights.

Helen Kelly says the interim government has gone beyond what's acceptable and must restore union rights and freedoms.

She says she will be in Fiji next week as part of an international delegation to meet with workers, employers and union representatives.

But she says she's not sure if the delegation will be welcomed by the government despite their apparent invitation to visit.

"Actually we've had a very aggressive letter back, not saying they won't meet us, we've asked to meet them. We are responding to their suggestion we come. We've risen to that challenge and now it appears that they're not very keen on us coming. And we are incredibly concerned. When you see union officials being arrested, beaten up, charged with outrageous charges for simply doing their job. of course we've got concerns."

President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly.