10 Feb 2014

Fiji union says Sheraton strike was never illegal

7:45 am on 10 February 2014

The general secretary of the Fiji Trade Union Council says the labour minister got it wrong when he declared a strike by hotel workers in Nadi on New Year's Eve illegal.

The Denarau landowners walked off the job at the Sheraton resorts, but returned a few hours later after an interim settlement was reached.

But the minister, Jone Usamate, declared the strike illegal and six unionists were arrested as a result.

Felix Anthony says the union was never involved in the strike, and last week the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the charges, saying no offence was committed.

Mr Anthony says not only was the union not involved, the strike was never illegal in the first place.

"There was no illegal strike. In fact, I think the Minister of Labour was ill-advised and declared the strike illegal. You know, the landowners don't fall under the employment relations promulgation, which is the labour laws that govern industrial action. "

The general secretary of the FTUC, Felix Anthony.