21 Dec 2011

Fiji textile worker refutes regime claim of free trade unions

6:29 pm on 21 December 2011

A worker in Fiji's textile industry says the regime's claim that trade unions can freely negotiate and assert the rights of their members with employers is not true.

The interim government has reiterated its stand that labour rights in the country are not being abused following overseas' unions attacks on its labour and human rights record.

The country's Textile Clothing Footwear Council has also refuted claims its industry does not allow union activity.

A textile factory worker, who does not want to be identified for fear of retribution, says she and her co-workers fear not getting a wage increase next year because they have not been able to talk to their union representative.

"In my factory we closely work together - the union and the company - the only problem is when we applied for a permit so we can meet our union delegates the government didn't approve it."

Fiji's garment and textile industry is not included in the regime's list of essential industries where professional union workers are banned.