#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: FTUC: regime explanation of new decree 'clutching at straws'

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

FTUC: regime explanation of new decree 'clutching at straws'

REGIME ENFORCES REPRESSIVE DECREE
ENI Decree # 035 of 2011 (Essential National Industries Decree)

On Friday 9th September 2011, the Fiji Regime issued a Gazette Notice containing Regulations to implement their ENI Decree which was first published on 29th July 2011. It is effective from the date of publication: 09th September 2011.  Today, the workers of Fiji can compare this act as a calamity just as worse as the US 9/11 Twin Towers disaster in New York 10 years ago.
 

At the same time, Ministry of Information issued three separate documents, accompanying the issue of ENI Regulations, which contained extensive propaganda and in support of their recent spin actions aimed at totally destroying the trade union movement in Fiji.
 
The first release (MinInfo # 1739) is a complete list of Quotations from the regime’s mouth piece Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum (AG), on the ENI decree. It is plainly a publicity exercise for external consumption that there is nothing wrong with the new Regulations or previously released Decree #035/2011.  Aiyaz S Khaiyum with no understanding of Employment Relations or ILO Core Labour standards continues via his non-stop utterances in support of the profit motive of the corporate sector. He treats the rest of the country as if they have no worth left and he has the sole right to determine their life and future, in this case the status and future existence of workers who are the most valuable assets in any economy.

Secondly, a “Fact Sheet” (#1740, author not mentioned) with more inane justification on their actions to date via the ENI and other decrees designed to limit, remove or destroy the status of trade unions, their officials and the workers themselves in the various nominated industries and entities.  The contents garishly praise the objective of their plans, ignoring the immediate and long term flow on effect on the lives of workers and/or the sectors of the economy they are presumably trying to protect.

The inclusion of Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority (FRCA) is a shocker as it is a government statutory authority which has been roped in as a designated corporation.  The influence of FRCA Senior Management with the regime is clearly at play.  The senior management officials desire to continue unabated with corrupt practices such as $10million reprieve given to a government commercial company as a favour which flies in the face of VAT Decree and its implementation process.  The appointment of sons and daughters of senior management staff and family members continues to be done with impunity.  The ENI Decree will now give them a much free hand to indulge in nefarious activities and they would be free from the binding Collective Agreement which had been a thorn on their side.  The nepotism is rife and we are very much aware the FRCA, CEO wrote to the PM’s Office to be exempted from the ERP similar to the Public Service Decree No.21/2011.

The Decree is clearly designed to aid and benefit the Employers and they admit the provisions are based on US labour laws.  The paper even quotes some practices in USA and UK, which under close scrutiny by ILO standards will fall flat. At no time so far, they have provided solid proof that actions of unions and workers have harmed any company or industry in Fiji. They have ignored the fact that the poor performance of Fiji economy is due to other factors, e.g. corruption mismanagement of this organization and industries, loss of Aid Funds, trade imbalances and brain drain due to instability.

The quotes from UK and USA has been misquoted and avoided meaningly about other accompanying legislation in those respective countries which ensure human and trade union rights. These rights are enshrined in the constitutions and legislations of these countries and are fully protected by independent judiciaries of these countries. The authors have purposely deflected their quotes not to inform the public that citizens of UK and USA have the right to challenge any matter through the judicial system in their countries unlike Fiji where we have no rights whatsoever.  Moreover, these countries have elected parliament and other accountable institutions unlike the unelected regime in Fiji who possess no mandate.

Thirdly, another statement (#1742, origin not shown) with fictitious “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” which is tailor made to justify themselves, i.e. they issue the questions and provide their own answers to them, as they wish, knowing there will be no one to question or rebut them. Any person with a basic sense of decency and proprietary would see the mockery of the whole exercise. 

The PER and Media Decree is foisted upon Fiji’s people and defies the respected principles of accountability, transparency and good governance.  These two (2) Decrees allows the regime to operate as an authoritarian government without democratic scrutiny and accountability.  They make a mockery of the rule of law.

The regime’s propaganda through their media release (No.1742/AG) at several places mentioned “good faith”.  Good Faith is a legal requirement – but it is also a tool and an investment.  As a tool, good faith used flexibly and proactively can help parties in their dealings with one another.  As an investment, it lays the foundation for productive ongoing relationships among employers, employees and the regime should take a leaf out of our good faith definition.

 
As we said elsewhere, if the Regime has confidence in itself, they will readily submit to a test by popular vote.  The utterances in these three papers starkly demonstrate that they are lacking self-assurance and clutching at straws to save themselves from the mire they themselves created.

Via these moves, they have gone to extreme lengths to delude themselves that what they are doing they see as the right thing to do. The propaganda is meant for the gullible, both here and abroad, who are their supplicants of like nature. But the danger is that unsuspecting local public and in particular some of the workers will be forced to take these explanations as gospel truth and then take no action to investigate the facts and react in a positive manner.  However, like the unions and workers, they are also severely constrained by the presence of the Public Emergency Regulations [PER] and the Media Decree 2010, both of them have introduced a situation which are akin to a “police state”.

Looking at some of their wordings in these three documents, it is also obvious that they are directed against the Fiji trade unions, in particular FTUC and their affiliates, and our various responses, statements and releases in recent weeks.  The contents of the three releases answer directly to our serious concerns, arguments and condemnation of the Regime’s actions in the recent past, i.e. the erosion and denial of trade union and human rights in Fiji. They have plagiarized some of our own wordings.

Once again the Regime feels that they have explained themselves to the recent ILO Mission to Fiji and are thus justified to embark on their foolish path.  The initial ILO responses indicated that all the actions of the Fiji authorities were in violation of basic and fundamental human and trade union rights and in breach of the various  ILO Core Conventions.

FTUC have made several statements and releases on this subject in recent weeks, all of them condemning the Govt actions, simply because they are in breach of conventions, illegal and denial of rights. We have been ably supported by international worker groups from many sources who have condemned the actions of Fiji Govt and echoed FTUC stand calling for immediate rescinding of all repressive decrees, return to normal operations in all sectors, the correct observance of all existing laws, the upholding of trade union and human rights, including the cessation of harassment and attacks on union officials and members.

Our crusade includes the restoration of the full ERP 2007 machinery to all workers of Fiji in every sector without discrimination.  This will mean the reinstatement of the many grievances, disputes, awards and orders that were the rights and properties of workers and unions based on just grounds, law, merit and successful advocacy, before they were arbitrarily cancelled forthwith under the Decrees.  Furthermore, the absence of dialogue between the parties have taken their toll, and we repeat the call for return to full collective bargaining status in all aspects so that all social partners can live and perform in accordance with industrial democracy and in harmony.  If the Govt seeks peace, stability and progress in Fiji’s economy then, they should heed the call for sanity. Even FCEF feels that way.
 
While we await the publication of the Gazette notice, the Min.Info release last Friday identified the following 4 industries and 11 corporations as coming under the ENI Decree #035/2011: 

From the graph included in their statement it appears that following trade unions will be affected immediately:
a)       Fiji Public Service Association [FPSA] representing workers in FRCA & WAF.
b)       Fiji Bank & Finance Sector Union [FBFSU] with Members in ANZ, BoB, BSP, and Westpac.
c)       Transport Workers Union [TWU] with staff of Air Pacific Ltd.
d)              Fiji Post & Telecom Employees Assoc (FPTEA] covering FINTEL & TFL.

In view of above, our position has become most precarious, in fact if nothing is done to check it, then the demise of nearly all unions will follow. We should not aid and abet their design by keeping silent. This has been the most important and central theme of all our discussions, statements and objectives to date.

Sadly, apart from losing all hard fought benefits under the existing Collective Agreements, the current trade unions will be replaced by weak, pliable and ineffective “bargaining units”, with Membership of 75 or more workers only in any one company, branch or station/unit.

In any case, if Employers plan to apply pressure via the pay check or inducement via pay increases or promotions to achieve their aims, then they can easily obtain 35% of existing membership of new trade unions, i.e. as little as twenty seven (27) workers, to cross over and reject their unions.  Then the Minister, the RTU and the Employer will jump in, endorse and legalize it, and after which they will have a free hand in all its dealings with their staff.   

The stakes are critical and high, our affiliates and their Membership should lose no time in realizing the predicament that we have been forced into.  We must all rally behind our cause, i.e. the freedom of association, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of collective bargaining, the freedom for a decent work and career, and the right to peace, progress, prosperity and better living conditions.  We must regain our legitimate expectations and the universal trade union and human rights.
 
Felix Anthony
NATIONAL SECRETARY



FTUC calls for free and fair elections under the 1997 Constitution and a return to democracy
http://www.mediafire.com/?uckc7x925oh5ib5 

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Felix , why crying now , you are the people who put this regime where they are now, I hope you appologise to the people of Fiji of your part .

Anonymous said...

whu not some one kill baini and aryse for once all

Anonymous said...

Felix this is what you get for pushing the Govt so much you big limuri. Y did you order sabotage of mills last year by getting buddies to drop steel pipes into crushers? We know all abt u now. See how well the mills are run this year. Yr days are limited.

Anonymous said...

FIJI IS BURNING! FIJI IS BURNING! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! GO AND FETCH ME SOME WATERS! UMMMMMM!! UMMMMM!!

TM

Anonymous said...

Yeh junta got 65% support from the liumuri Institiute so bring it on- l;ets have election now and see the fact that not even 1% people will vote for the dictator forget the puppet master he is write off in any seat he stand in.

Remove the PER call the election and see the real people power.

PER is by cowards who cant face the truth.

mark manning said...

Destroy the Institutions and take the land, game over.
Aiyaz already owns Fijians as his slaves.

Stan said...

Why is it that people want others to do something that they want...if you want them dead...go for it

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up for democracy

All Workers, unions, methodist church, all NGOS , all women, all SDL/Labor supputers must come out now and march arrest the junta of thugs and put on trial.

The people are 800000 and junta a gang of thugs-one dozen crooks.

Citizen arrest them and end the PER and bring back democracy , rule of law, justice, human rights to fiji.

Anonymous said...

I cannot beleive that Khaiyuma and Bainimarama actuaally signed or recommended this decree and Nailatikau signs the decree against the Unions. Do you three have a heart? a brain, owhat? Well thats it. You have just nailed the last nail in your coffins. Its time to fill it with your bodies.

Anonymous said...

What to do what to do!! Good summation Felix Antony but oh what to do!! ACTION IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY ....

Democracy Leader said...

Can someone either kill or kick Bai and Kaiyum's dirty ass for good. They are ruining the country. Wake up people of Fiji. What are you waiting for? The sooner, the better.

Other asses to kick and kill are that of YP Reddy and family, the entire Tappoo family, the links of ASK family, CEO of Air Pacific (if he has fled the country, bring him back and throw him in jail).

Tappoo is the biggest crooks the country has ever seen, they are daylight robbers. Kanti, better start packing your bags. You are one wanted person. Too bad Kanji is no longer around!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanx Felix for the lecture on the decree and it`s ramifications on the Trade Unions..and you`ve asked all workers to rally behind their affiliates..o.k..that`s good.
Question is!!WHEN?when?when?..and What?what?what?..do we do about it.
Millions of words have been said and written about it and this phuken autocrat continues to trample all over you T/U leaders while your members and the whole world is watching...!
..It has to begin from within,man and we`re phuken fed up of waiting.
T/U leaders,you must do what you have to do at the right time for maximum impact..drag your feet on things than might as well pack-up and migrate `cause that opportunity will not come your way for a very long time.

MATAVUVALE said...

The Whole of Fiji is Alienated...

And Turning Against the Illegal Govt

They've Trashed and Decimated Everything!

the community is turning against the Govt - as the economy falters and as these Decrees come in and the socio economic consequences hit the people in REAL TERMS they are starting to look at the leadership - at the Govt.

all the Govt can do now is get more ingenious with its propoganda tactics - like that Tebbut Poll.

but the gulf between the propoganda and whats happening on the street is MASSIVE. they can't gloss over the businesses which are closing down all over Fiji - they can't gloss over the unemployment which is continuing to rise, they can't gloss over the inflation which is now consistently at levels unprecedented in the whole history of Fiji

this thing is going to a situation where the guys in Govt won't be able to lay the blame on anybody or anyother country for the mess - it will fall squarely on them.

everything about building a prosperous Fiji which FB talked about in December 2006 is now going out the window - there is NO PROSPERITY only growing POVERTY with the people

everything about building a strong economy FB talked about in December 2006 has gone out the window - they trashed the Fishing industry and destroyed our fleet as one of their first orders of business back in 2007 when they used the FIRCA to extort monies out of the fleet. the net result of which the whole fleet left Suva ending a money source running at around $200 million a year for the city of Suva - a fishing fleet which had been here for almost 20 years and had grown massively over those twenty years - and which over those twenty years had brought in at least 2 billion dollars in direct cash infusion into the Suva economy. now whole businesses are closing down all over the city of Suva as the cash flow dries up in this city.

they went on a super yauchts delusion - and for their efforts they got $1 million dollars - just enough to pay the RFMF's wages for one day.

the sugar industry - they've decimated it. they were handed an FSC which was functional in 2007 and they destroyed its structures as their first order of business by trashing the Fiji Sugar Cane Growers Council and from there its just gone downhill - last month FB was at the ACP asking for the $300 million EU release. not happening. we've trashed every chance of ever getting that funding by trashing our obligations under Cotonou.

now they are trashing Air Pacific - handed an airline which was making a profit in 2006 - and by 2007 they had managed to drive it into loss. a massive loss - and every year since its just been loss on loss.

MATAVUVALE said...

This Illegal Govt Has Trashed and Decimated Everything!

they were handed an economy in debt - and they have suceeded in multiplying the level of debt 3 fold in the last five years - the SDL were in debt but they also had an economy which was at least making money via inflow of investments - whats happening now is the opposite - we have quadrupled the debt without any comparative rise in the inflow of investments into the country - and now Investment Fiji are complaining at the existing investors not employing more people. how can any company employ more people when the market dynamics do not allow them to do so ?

the legal system ? they've trashed that one too - kicking out the Court of Apeal Judges at gunpoint and throwing the 1997 Constitution in the rubbish bin. sending soldiers to arrest Chief Justice Fatiaki from his chambers - all these things thoroughly and completely transmitted around the world in images and words - and now the Sri Lankan prosecutors going on internationa radio and telling their stories of manipulation of the legal system - and even Roko Ului giving in his bit

everything about building a free and fair Fiji which FB talked about in December 2006 has already gone out the window - there is NO FREE FIJI, the people are under the PER, there have been arbitrary detentions, torture and extra judicial murders, persecutive prosecutions of people via manipulation of the legal systems, the whole nine yards

free and fair Fiji ? we have Govt censors sitting in the editorial room of every single media outlet in this country determining what can be printed or broadcast and what cannot be printed and broadcast. we have a PER Decree.

everything about building a united Fiji has already gone out the window - whole sections of the community are alienated - even the business community is alienated to the extent that the Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank are going hoarse calling for the business people to invest in Fiji and use up the funds in the banks but its not finding any takers - the Methodist Church is alienated, the Unions are alienated, the sugar cane farmers are alienated - basically the whole of Fiji is alienated in one way or another

building a law abiding Fiji which FB talked about in December 2006 - that one went out the window a long time ago (in fact from December 2006 itself) and then repeated when the Court of Appeal's judgements was ripped up and thrown in the rubbish bin and the Judges kicked out at gunpoint - underscored by the torture of defenceless women at QEB (Laisa, Virisila Buadromo and all those others) with the full knowledge and complicity of the leadership

there are SO MANY CONTRADICTIONS - so this one about the Essential Services Decree is nothing new because its along the same old trajectory.

Anonymous said...

To people living in Australia & NZ these paper edicts ( Decrees) emanating from the Military junta in Fiji are amusing. They dont have the authority of any lawful statutes that would be passed by an elected constitutional Government. They have as much currency of credability as counterfeit money. The whole thing is a comedy. Its a total nonsense...The militaries guns are the only method these decrees can be forced on the poor citizens of Fiji.The day will come when a panel of International Judges will will determine the fate of these goons.

Anonymous said...

time for action and less talk.
union/church/people combine and kick ask/bai out now.

Anonymous said...

@annon.8:05am.Oh!yeah!!yeah!!yeah!!..
So you guys in Australia & New Zealand are laughing yourselves off
at the misery and suffering experienced by your families in Fiji
at the hands of this dictator.
Good for you and enjoy your freedom.

Anonymous said...

We will cuss, condemn and curse until the cows come home, the IG will remain in power and will be the law, so stop whining, close your eye and bury your heads in the sand cos FB and ASK are here to stay UNLESS YOU WANNA DO SOMNETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fed up with DP said...

The Fijian people should take American David Pflieger to task. This decree is his idea as the the Air Pacific unions outmanoeuvred him in negotiations. How did he fix? - by running to his bed-mate (Pfliger's wife returned to America) illegal AG Khaiyum and giving him this decree to gain some traction the useless idiot!
You living on borrowed time Pflieger, you are a disgrace to American men and women in uniform who continue to serve that great nation with patriotism, pride and honour whilst your are in Fiji trampling on worker's rights and destroying our national airline with a "fabricated CV."

Anonymous said...

Thans Felix and company-but you were part of the PROBLEM -as soon as you didn't get your cut your mob decided to make some noise-but we don't believe you any more! You will all be taken to task when the time comes??

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