2 May 2019

Fiji union leaders left with no option but to defer protests

10:14 pm on 2 May 2019

Fiji unionists have decided to call off protest action planned for Friday in the wake of a police clamp down.

Felix Anthony

Felix Anthony Photo: RNZ

A protest march had also been planned in Nadi on Saturday but the Fiji Transport Authority refused to issue a permit, saying that it would impede the safe movement of traffic.

Several union leaders, arrested on Wednesday, were released from custody late on Thursday evening but the secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Council, Felix Anthony, and about two dozen of his National Workers' union colleagues were still being held.

The deputy secretary of the FTUC, Attar Singh, said the council had been left with no option but to postpone Friday's protests, which would have involved a number of actions at various places.

But because the police are refusing to allow people to gather at any one place, including private properties, such as union properties, in light of that nobody will be able to assemble in any case, and for that reason, primarily, the protest had to be deferred, Mr Singh said.

He said, despite being forced to pull the plug on their protests, the attention, both domestic and international, that they had received in the past two days had far exceeded expectations.

  • Police search Fiji Trades Union Congress HQ
  • Fiji protests called off; dozens of unionists still in custody
  • Fiji unionist Felix Anthony arrested