PRESS RELEASE NO. 85-04/16
It is ironic that Attar Singh should make allegations that FTUC is poaching members from his affiliates. Just a few months ago, Mr. Singh when he was unemployed poached 150 members from his former Telecom and Mining Union to form a new Union in Vatukoula mines so that he can remain employed. Yet he chooses to claim poaching by FTUC. Records are available at the Registrar of Trade Unions Office.
The facts are that FTUC wishes to unite all Unions and Workers in Fiji for a number of years now. Talks have taken place on a number of occasions. However, Attar Singh has made demands that he be appointed Assistant General Secretary which cannot be accommodated. FTUC is a democratic Workers Organisation. He has chosen, as always to put his personal interest first before the larger interest of all workers in Fiji. He has also demanded that FTUC change its name just so that he can claim some sort of amalgamation between FTUC and FICTU. That can never happen.
Everyone in Fiji is aware that the Employment Relations Promulgation was the work of FTUC which at the time was objected to by Attar Singh. The recent restoration of workers and trade union rights was also the effort and work of FTUC. It is those rights that he can now work as a trade unionist if he wishes.
Attar Singh objected to the recent amendments to those labour laws as well. In light of the destructive and his choice of putting his personal interest before the interest of workers, FTUC has decided that it will approach workers directly to organise workers and unify the trade union movement. FTUC will not waste time to satisfy Attar’s ego before uniting workers.
It is time Attar Singh tells the workers what he has achieved for them and why they need to remain loyal to him instead of simply objecting to everything and anything. His so called FICTU is his creation after losing 3 successive FTUC elections for National Secretary. The man’s track record has been about dividing workers and still today religiously remains true to his record. It time to deliver to the workers of Fiji and that can only be done if workers are united. Indeed union means unity and one day we hope he understands this.