ACTU and ITUC React to Military Presence at Sugar Mills

ACTU has sent a press release demanding the removal of military personnel from sugar mills. FSGWU members have reported military personnel have been sent it to the mills as a threat tactic used by the FSC. ACTU is outraged by the intimidation faced by the employees who have recently voted to go on strike. The link below retrieves the media statement .

http://www.actu.org.au/Media/Mediareleases/Fijianmilitarymustbewithdrawnfromsugarmillimmediately.aspx

The ITUC has also urged the international community to take necessary actions towards this latest development.   It also urges the community to use their leverage to influence the Regime and the FSC to come to the negotiating table. Please click on the following link to read more.

http://www.ituc-csi.org/fiji-sugar-mills-workers-are-still?lang=en

Military Officers Now at Lautoka Mill

The FSGWU is disgusted with the tactic used by the FSC Management as they have brought in military officers who will purportedly “deal” with members who have voted to go on strike. Union General Secretary, Felix Anthony says in his statement that the FSC management has now demonstrated how much they really do “care” about their employees who have also been threatened with replacement.

Military Used to Intimidate Mill Workers – FSGWU PR

ACTU has published another PR in response to the post above. The Union body has demanded the withdrawal of military officers from the sugar mills. The PR is available through the following link:

http://www.actu.org.au/Media/Mediareleases/Fijianmilitarymustbewithdrawnfromsugarmillimmediately.aspx

Sugar Workers Call for Dialogue

The FSGWU  is disappointed at the lack of response from the FSC after the FSGWU’s proposal for dialogue.

FSC employees have cried out too long for decent wages , in fact for seven long years they have struggled to feed their families from the meagre wages they were offered.

FSGWU demands that the Corporation take action or the Union will.

These employees have families to feed, children to put in school and other basic necessities that need taken care of.

The fate of the sugar industry is in the hands of the FSC before the Union finally takes the last resort.

Support for FSGWU from International Union Movements

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

Mill Death Now A Police Matter

The FSGWU have now launched an official complaint with the Police over the death of Samuela Sigatokacake at the FSC Lautoka mill about two weeks ago.

The Union has requested the Police conduct investigation into the death which could have been prevented had FSC taken necessary action towards the repair of equipment that was reported faulty by the employees a while back.

Mr Sigatokacake acquired 60 percent burns from work, was admitted to hospital on July 25th and passed away three days later on the 28th.

Investigations conducted at the mill concluded that the release valve on the pressure vessel that Mr Sigatokacake worked with had malfunctioned three years ago of which management was notified.

FSGWU has raised concerns over OHS issues in the mills and the reaction from the FSC has been somewhat disappointing.

The Police has confirmed registering the complaint at the Lautoka Police Station.

http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/12824/lautoka-mill-death-a-police-case

NUFCW Takes Employer to Court

(Picture: Fiji Sun)

The National Union of Factory and Commercial Workers Union took employer, FRINCOS Hire to the Employment court this morning over the company’s breach of the ERP .

It was reported that 52 employees who were members of the union were locked out of their work premise on Monday. The company had refused to deduct union subscriptions from members’ wages.

The workers had also reportedly walked off their jobs recently in demand for pay that was due to them.

Members claimed meal and other allowances owed to them were not paid by the employer.

The FTUC deplores such inhumane treatment of employees who committed their time and energy to work for the company and demands that FRINCOS Hire address the workers’ grievances.

The FTUC will not take kindly to intimidation of members by employers or from any other sector of the economy.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=241448