Investigate Collusion and Corruption – FTUC

The FTUC is deeply concerned at the revelations of contributions to the incumbent Governing Party (FFP) by some employers and business around the country. The alleged amounts are shockingly excessive and borders on corruption. The FTUC notes that some Garment Manufacturers are amongst those that have allegedly given contributions to the Governing Party. These are some Manufacturers who recently claimed that they cannot afford a minimum wage of $4 and threatened to close factories causing huge unemployment yet can afford to contribute to Government’s re-election campaign by giving exorbitant amounts of money. We note also that none of the contributors have denied the allegations nor has the Governing Party. This is rather disturbing and goes against the grains of transparency, accountability and good governance.

The FTUC notes that a complaint has been lodged to the Supervisor of Elections

(SOE) and Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), who appear to have either refused to act upon the complaint or are protecting the Governing Party and their contributors. This is very concerning. We demand a response from all involved in these allegations and authorities responsible to monitor such behavior and enforce the laws. These laws are applicable to all and not just Trade Unions or opposition political parties.We also note that the media has not reported on this matter or sought any answers again. Another demonstration of media bias and or intimidation of the media.

The FTUC is further concerned as there appears to be collusion between some businesses and governing party to keep the National Minimum Wage to extreme poverty levels. These are some businesses that deny their workers Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining. It  is now becoming clearer as to why the Ministry of Labor enforcement is so weak in some areas and why the Ministry is slow to act on any reports. Workers need answers to these allegations and not silence from those supposedly involved, hoping that such behavior will be acceptable or forgotten.

The FTUC notes that Trade Unions and their officials are not allowed to participate in the political process yet some Employers are not only allowed but also contribute financially huge amounts of cash to the ruling party. This is grossly unfair. This practice of some businesses  funding the ruling party and the ruling party accepting such funding undermines democracy and is grossly unfair to workers of Fiji and puts workers at immense disadvantage.

The FTUC demands answers.

Felix Anthony

National Secretary