Fiji crisis: ITF & ITUC alert the ILO

January 27, 2018

Felix Anthony

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have today written to the director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) calling on him to urgently intervene in the unfolding situation in Fiji.

The general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Council, Felix Anthony, was interrogated by police on consecutive days – 24 and 25 January – about ‘sabotaging the economy’, an offence under section 8 of the Public Order Act.

It is thought the police took action over comments Mr Anthony made at a rally for 250 airport workers who were locked-out for a month by government owned Air Terminal Services (ATS) at Nadi International Airport, but last week won the right to return to work. The staff had been prevented from working for attending a meeting to discuss concerns of mismanagement, appalling conditions, sexual harassment and an 11-year pay freeze.

ITF president, Paddy Crumlin, said: “This looks like a process of deliberate intimidation aimed at Felix Anthony and all the workers who stood up for their rights over the ATS lockout. We had no choice but to alert the ILO, and now the government in Fiji must act and stop this unacceptable behaviour.

“Unfortunately, the Fijian authorities have past history of this kind of thing, and we deplore the fact they are threatening to impose criminal charges based on an excessively broad interpretation of so-called ‘economic sabotage’ for the legitimate and peaceful exercise of the right to strike.

“The only sabotage in this case has been to the pay and working conditions of these loyal ATS workers over the last 11-years.”

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