4 Oct 2012

Restoring Fiji workers' rights best option, says US unionist

2:47 pm on 4 October 2012

A United States union official says the best outcome of a review of Fiji's duty free access is workers getting their rights back, so businesses don't suffer.

The US is reviewing Fiji's eligibility for the General System of Preferences after a petition by the US federation of trade unions, the AFL-CIO.

Both sides now have three weeks to make post-hearing submissions.

The AFL-CIO's trade and globalisation specialist, Celeste Drake, says the Fiji Government's general approach during the hearing was that it isn't doing anything wrong.

"To us, and to the Fiji Trade Unions Confederation, the best outcome possible is for the government to withdraw some of these decrees, especially the Essential National Industries decree, and the ERP amendments decree, give workers their rights back, and then workers have their rights, Fiji gets to keep its trade benefits, and everyone will be better off."

Celeste Drake says it will be some months before a decision is made by the US government.