More international trade union muscle coming Fiji's way. United Kingdom umbrella union urges giant London refinery, Tate and Lyle, to take up Fiji cause. See story below from the Trades Union Council website.
Unions press Tate & Lyle to challenge work rights abuses in Fiji
|TATE AND LYLE LONDON REFINERY|
The GMB and TUC are today (Monday) calling on Tate & Lyle sugar refineries in London to challenge the Fijian military government to end the rapidly escalating labour rights abuses in the country.
|TUC'S BRENDAN BARBER|
Last Wednesday (3 August), President of the Fiji Trades Union Congress Daniel Urai and another union leader were arrested on charges of holding a union meeting without a permit.
On the same day, the military government introduced the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, which, according to the Fiji Trades Union Congress, 'will effectively abolish all trade unions in Fiji'.
The decree bans the right of unions to represent workers in collective bargaining and effectively prohibits industrial action, among other restrictions. It voids all current collective bargaining agreements within 60 days and cancels all wages council orders relating to minimum terms and conditions of work in key national industries.
|TUC'S PAUL KENNY|
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber and GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny, whose union represents workers at Tate & Lyle in London, wrote to management on Friday (5 August), calling on them to press the military government to end the labour rights abuses in the country.
Brendan Barber said: 'People would be horrified to know that the sugar in their cup of tea this morning may be propping up Fijian generals busy jailing or harassing ordinary working people. Now this new decree is tearing up decent working conditions for Fijians, and is a death sentence for their trade unions.
'The dictatorship is totally dependent on its trade with Tate & Lyle here in London. The company need to use this enormous leverage over them to press the Fijian government to respect human rights.'
Paul Kenny said: 'Tate & Lyle is a good employer here in Britain. We are calling on it to make sure that workers in the cane fields and sugar mills in Fiji where it sources from can enjoy the same decent working conditions.
'Tate & Lyle publicly claim to be 'operating to high social, ethical and environmental standards in all circumstances'. Let's hope it can now put those words into action.'