31 Jul 2013

Fiji union complains to international body over intimidation

10:30 am on 31 July 2013

The Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union has complained to international labour organisations about what it describes as intimidation during a ballot over possible strike action at the nation's sugar mills.

It has written to the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Labour Organisation.

The union's Secretary General, Felix Anthony, says his organisation has been unhappy about the level of pressure from the Fiji Sugar Corporation management.

"Which held meetings at work places to threaten workers not to take part in the vote and that they would be reported to the government if they took part in the vote. Apart from that, we had police and military personnel present in polling stations where voting was being conducted and in some cases even attempted to disturb the processes."

Felix Anthony says no date has been set for any industrial action and he hopes the Fiji Sugar Corporation will agree to talks to resolve differences.

The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow, says the Confederation condemns what it calls extremely serious violations of the right to freedom of association.

She says the regime has shown nothing but contempt for the rule of law and the interests of its own citizens.