31 Jan 2014

Union wasn't involved in Sheraton Fiji strike, says FTUC

1:44 pm on 31 January 2014

The general secretary of Fiji's Trade Union Council says he doesn't know why unionists were arrested over a hotel strike in Nadi because the union did not call the strike.

About 300 employees walked off the job at the Sheraton hotels on New Year's eve, but an interim settlement was reached within hours.

The labour minister declared the strike illegal and days later, six unionists, including the FTUC President Daniel Urai, were arrested.

Felix Anthony says the hotel workers walked out themselves, but the government has blamed the unions.

"The union did not call the strike, and unfortunately, the government took it upon themselves to say that the union was responsible. I think this is the question that the police and the regime need to answer. In fact, if anything at all I think Mr Urai assisted in resolving the issues."

Felix Anthony says the regime has been taking every possible opportunity to get at the unions, and he wouldn't be surprised if the directive for the arrests came from the top.