FTUC Supports FSGWU Decision

The  statement by the FTUC National President, Daniel Urai has affirmed the support of the Congress to FSGWU’s decision to take strike action.
The FSGWU is a member of the FTUC and Mr Urai in his statement has demanded the Regime take the necessary action to resolve the problems faced by sugar workers who toil behind the sugar industry, one of the major backbones of the Fiji economy.
We humbly request your network campaigning and publication of the Press Release which is also available on www.ftuc.org.fj and the FTUC Facebook page.
The FTUC demands the Regime gives back what it owes the workers of the sugar industry.
We, like our sister union movements from around the world rally our support for the FSGWU and pray for a quick resolution .

FTUC Press Release (54.13-13) FTUC Supports Sugar Workers

FSGWU Vows to get Justice for Worker’s Death

(Picture: fbc news)

The attached document is a statement by the Fiji Sugar  and General Workers Union’s General Secretary Felix Anthony on the recent passing of Mr Samuela Sigatokacake, a member of the Union.
Mr Sigatokacake suffered 60 percent burns to this body in an unfortunate accident that could have been prevented had FSC management taken necessary actions to replace faulty equipment at the Lautoka mill.
The FSGWU has promised to do all that is necessary to implore authorities to properly investigate and obtain justice for Mr Sigatokacake’s family.
ACTU has sent a condolences letter for Mr Sigatokacake. Please click on the link below to read.

Sugar Workers Vote for Strike

Sugar workers have voted to strike amidst threats and intimidation by authorities.

Please click on the link below to retrieve the statement made by the FSGWU General Secretary, Felix Anthony.

FSG&WU Media Release – Sugar Workers Vote to Strike

The ITUC has denounced threats made against Fiji’s sugar workers who have voted for a strike. ITUC has addressed a letter to the FSGWU affirming their support for the Union’s decision and implored the government to address the concerns of the workers.

http://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-denounces-threats-and

The International Union of Food Workers has also published an article on the strike mandate on their website. The link follows:

IUF Report: http://cms.iuf.org/?q=node/2646

“Your cause is surely just, and the support shown in the ballot you
have conducted, despite the unacceptable and undemocratic
intimidation by management and the military, clearly demonstrates
that your members are behind you”. – Frances O’Grady, TUC’s General Secretary.

TUC’s Affirms Its Support for Fiji Sugar Workers’ Decision to Strike : Solidarity Letter from TUC

The Maritime Union of Australia and the International Transport Workers Federation have stated their support in a letter addressed to the FSGWU. They have condemned the unacceptable intimidation of workers who were involved in fully legal and democratic process of ballot voting.

MUA Supports FSGWU Decision : MUA In Support of Fiji_Sugar_Workers

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has condemned the actions of the FSC in its refusal to enter into any negotiations with the FSGWU in its letter below. Workers are demanding the FSC Management increase their wages which have declined by more than 40 percent over the last seven years.

ACTU Passes Executive Resolution on Solidarity with FSGWU : ACTU Executive resolution – Fiji

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow in an interview has confirmed global union movements’ support for FSGWU strike.

ITUC General-Secretary Sharan Burrow’s Interview on Radio Australia : http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/international-unions-could-target-fiji-sugar-customers/1168732

 

 

TUC’s Owen Tudor  says in his article “Fiji’s seven year old military dictatorship has not just abrogated democracy and freedom of speech. It has not just beaten and jailed its opponents. It has also driven ordinary Fijian workers into poverty and taken away their rights to freedom of association and to free collective bargaining, as required under ILO core conventions.”

Fiji Sugar Workers Fight for their Rights (Article by Owen Tudor : TUC) : http://www2.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/30-years-amnesty-trade-union-solidarity/fiji-sugar-workers-fight-their-rights

 

NZCTU also sent a message of solidarity to the FSGWU. General Secretary, Peter Conway said the Union’s fight for pay was justified. The NZCTU supports the call for an ILO Commission of Inquiry into Fiji.

NZCTU Letter of Solidarity

The latest to show support for FSGWU is GMB and Silvertown Sugar Workers Branch in the UK. Members of the branch are employees of Tate & Lyle’s factory that process sugar form Fiji. The Branch was also saddened to hear about the passing of Samuela Sigatokacake at the Lautoka FSC Mill.

GMB Letter of Support for FSGWU

DPP Applies To Consolidate Charges Against FTUC NP and Karunaratne

Daniel Urai with lawyer Navinesh Nand (Picture : Fiji Times)

The Director of Public Prosecutions Office is “not following proper procedures”in the application to consolidate charges against FTUC NP Daniel Urai and Sri Lankan businessman Jagnath Krunaratne.

Mr Urai is charged with inciting political violence and Mr Karunaratne is alleged to be part of the group that published graffiti against the Regime.

The two appeared early this week in the Suva Magistrates Court with their legal counsels objecting to the DPP’s application to consolidate the charges between them.

The DPP lawyer appeared under instructions requesting Magistrate Charles Ratakele to make a ruling on the application.

Mr Urai’s lawyer, Navinesh Nand informed the Court of his written request to the DPP to provide hard copies of more than 400 copies of disclosures of which could not be retrieved from the soft copies sent by the DPP.

The defence counsels are expected to make oral submissions of their objections to the application on July 10 of which the two defendants were excused from should they choose.

Thus the report on the Fiji Times on Wednesday, July 3rd was misrepresented.

FTUC National President Charged for Urging Political Violence

FTUC National President Daniel Urai appeared along with Sri Lankan businessman Jagath Karunaratne before the Suva Magistrates Court early this week charged with inciting political violence.

NP’s lawyer Navinesh  Nand requested hard copies of the disclosures and not soft copies which were sent by the State Counsel.

The case was adjourned to July 10 to hear arguments from the both parties  on the consolidation of charges applications for Urai and Karunaratne.

Mr Urai is charged with urging political violence against the Government, while Mr Karunaratne is alleged to be part of the group behind the anti government graffiti in Suva in August last year.

The two were charged under the Public Order Amendment Decree which has extensively widened the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism in Fiji now also means any form of actions by unions to telecommunications, transportation and other essential infrastructure, intimidation of the public or a section of the public, seeking international support for Fiji issues and promoting any religious or political cause.

The decree has criminalised legitimate trade union activities in Fiji, a sad violation of basic human and trade union rights.

(Daniel Urai at a union meeting in Levuka late 2012)