Around one in five workers in Fiji still earn too little to escape the US$2 per day poverty. Two in five live just above the poverty line and remain highly vulnerable to falling back into poverty. These are findings revealed in the ILO Report on Decent Work and Social Justice in Pacific Small Island Developing States.
The FTUC has continuously voiced its concern over the treatment of workers in the country, particularly regarding the National Minimum Wage amongst other issues.
The report further declares that the Pacific region suffers from high unemployment and underemployment, and particularly amongst young men and women who form a significant part of the population.
The political upheavals of the past have also contributed to the lack of growth of export industries in Fiji, PNG and the Solomon Islands.
The FTUC believes that the Report is an accurate representation of the issues faced by workers in the country and hopes that the newly “elected” government will through democratic processes championed by the workers movement put a stop to the exploitation of Fiji’s working population.
The Report is available on Decent Work and Social Justice in Pacific SIDS
The FTUC encourages all to be a part of the Thunderclap campaign launched by IndustriALL Global Union.
The Thunderclap campaign is to help raise awareness of the problems of precarious work. The campaign allows a single message from any trade union movement or organisation to share a message flash-mob style that will be shared to all friends and networks on all social networking sites on October 7, the World Day for Decent Work.
Precarious workers according to ILO are workers who fill permanent job needs but are denied permanent job rights.
Please click on the following link to support this campaign : https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/16472-stop-precarious-work
By Felix Chaudhary
THE Fiji Trades Union Congress says attempts by the government to sway workers votes by paying out bonuses two weeks before election will not work.
Acting national secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the campaign strategy used by Attorney-General and FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was an obvious ploy to win votes.
“If he thinks that workers are dumb and do not know his motive then he is sadly mistaken,” Mr Singh said.
“They know that a bonus is being paid to them two weeks before elections.
“The trend is there for all to see that pay rises and bonuses are paid to employees in Tropik Woods, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Fiji Water Authority, Lautoka City Council and other public enterprises for political ends.
“The FTUC has a long and proud history spanning decades representing workers’ interests in Fiji.
“It has over the years fought to increase workers’ wages, reinstate workers’ rights and fight against the injustices of employers’ treatment of its members.
“What has the regime achieved so far for workers for the past eight years apart from trampling on their very rights?
“It has forced the placement of thousands of workers under the Essential National Industries Decree and made every effort to add fear and intimidation to decimate trade unions.”
Voters travelling to place their votes.
(Picture: Pacific Scoop)
By Rajeshwar Singh
Acting FTUC National Secretary
“The FTUC is appalled at the A-G’s criticism of trade unionists at a recent meeting with Ports Terminal Limited workers as reported in yesterday’s edition of the Fiji Sun (2/09) under the heading, “don’t be used as pawns” by Jyoti Pratibha in her inimitable style. This is another campaign strategy used by Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to sway workers’ votes as the comments come straight after Port workers received their bonuses. If he thinks that workers are dumb and do not know his motive than he is sadly mistaken. They know that bonus is being paid to them two (2) weeks before Elections. The trend is there for all to see that pay rises and bonuses are paid to employees in Tropik Woods, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Fiji Water Authority, Lautoka City Council and other public enterprises for political ends.
The claim by A-G that unionists further their own agendas and fill their pockets is not only ironical but someone living in a glass house throwing stones at others. In fact Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum is furthering his own agenda thus announcing bonus payments and pay rises including even distributing rubbish bins in desperation for his self-preservation. FTUC urges workers not to be influenced by the regime’s tactics as their motive is to continue with the enjoyment of wealth and power. Furthermore, the regime is seen to be increasingly employing state power and instruments to demonise the trade union movement for votes so as to remain in office at any cost.
The FTUC has a long and proud history spanning decades representing workers’ interests in Fiji. It has over the years fought to increase workers’ wages, reinstate workers’ rights and fight against the injustices of employers’ treatment of its members. What has the regime achieved so far for workers for the past eight years apart from trampling on their very rights? It has forced the placement of thousands of workers under the ENI Decree and made every effort to add fear and intimidation to decimate trade unions. The ENI Decree which the regime introduced in 2011 completely stripped the rights of workers and now Sayed-Khaiyum talks about the collaborative approach between employers, employees and government to hoodwink the workers for votes in the forthcoming elections.
Workers are not fooled by this vote buying tactics of the regime. Yes, they will gladly accept bonuses and wage increases because this is the only way to meet the high cost of living as opposed to Sayed-Khaiyum’s self interest to remain in power.
The FTUC will not bow to the new obstacles of buying loyalty by bonuses and pay rises by the regime. We will continue to fight for our members and for the workers of Fiji.”
(69-09-14) FTUC PR – A-G’s Campaign Strategy
(Adapted from the PDP Manifesto)
Achieving Gender Equality
PDP recognises the efforts and role played by the women in our society. The suppression of women’s rights means the disempowerment of half of the country’s population. This undermines our progress and development.
Gender rights are an integral part of human rights. The PDP will work with major stakeholders promote gender equality in all sectors.
PDP as a priority will focus on:
- Mainstreaming gender in all national and sub-national policies
- Increasing to 30 % women’s participation at all levels of decision making including national, sub-national and corporate entities
- Economic empowerment for women
- Developing a comprehensive report to eliminating violence against women
- Vigorously monitoring and evaluating progress in achieving gender equality