#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Worker rights in Fiji sink to a new low: Australian unions condemn arrest of Fijian union president

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Worker rights in Fiji sink to a new low: Australian unions condemn arrest of Fijian union president

UNION SOLIDARITY: Daniel Urai (far right), Felix Anthony and Rajeshwar Singh with with TUF Leaders Paddy Crumlin, Bob Nanva & Tony Sheldon in Melbourne earlier this year.

Australian unions have serious concerns about the welfare of the head of the Fiji Trades Union Congress after he was reportedly arrested and detained on his return from a visit to Australia yesterday.
The ACTU President, Ged Kearney, says Australian unions have been informed by sources in Fiji that Daniel Urai had been arrested as soon as he stepped off his plane in Nadi yesterday. Urai had been at the Commonwealth Trade Union Group meeting in Perth.

It's believed he has been taken to Suva for further questioning. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Kearney says Australian unions are unaware of the reasons for his arrest, but suspect they are linked to his visit to Australia, where he took part in meetings to discuss the increasing abuse of trade union and worker rights by the military dictatorship in Fiji.

“If these reports of Mr Urai’s arrest are correct, then the repression of human and trade union rights has sunk to a new low when a union leader is arrested simply for telling the world about what is happening in his own country."

Last week during the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Perth, the CTUG, which represents more than 30 million workers in 30 countries, condemned the Fiji Government for violating international workplace rights, including the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree.

Kearney noted that Urai still faced charges after he was also arrested in August this year for organising a meeting of hotel workers in Nadi. The workers were seeking a collective agreement.

She says the Fijian Government is becoming increasingly arrogant in its persecution of the union and opposition leaders, despite growing international condemnation.

“It appears the intimidation of workers and their representatives in Fiji has entered a dangerous new phase. Worker and trade union rights are a fundamental element of a democratic society. Independent trade unions are needed in Fiji to deliver decent work to its people, 40% of whom live below the poverty line. The world cannot allow this abuse and disregard of human and workers’ rights to continue.”

Kearney says a number of large Australian companies, including airlines and banks, were effectively condoning the actions of the regime of military dictator, Frank Bainimarama, by continuing to operate in Fiji.

“We urge those businesses to distance themselves publicly from the Australia-Fiji Business Council, which is one of the most enthusiastic mouthpieces for the military regime."


Anonymous said...

Release Daniel Urai now!! This will collapse the Tourism industry for good.....


People who are critical of unions should study their history. In America, it was unions that ended the abuse of the robber barons who paid poor wages and no benefits, of coal companies that did not care for the safety of their workers or the railroads that cheated the farmers trying to ship their products to market. A government controlled by the rich.

The unions created the middle-class and now the rich are trying to reverse history. Long live the unions.

Anonymous said...

dan/felix are hero .
ag taliban and bai is zero.
the union/church and people should protest and march against the illegal regime.
get rid of these idiot ag/pm.
united we stand divided we fall.
god bless.

Anonymous said...

We will put you in jail Voreqe.

Justice will come looking for you, however long it takes.
Just remember, those who gassed the Jews in 1944 are still being hunted now, 67 years later.
We will hunt you down and we will throw you in jail for all the evil you have done.
All your properties will be confiscated and the proceeds given to the poor.
Your future is not good.

You can run but you cant hide.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Hitler, a part-jewish mongrel, persecuted jews. Bainimarama, a part-fijian mongrel, persecutes Fijians.

Hitler, was evil but a genius. Bainimarama, is evil and a retard.

Skippy. said...

So much for international solidarity. Majority of Australian union officials are more interested in members assets than rights. They were serious about helping Fiji workers they would have cut off Air Pacifics' fuel ages ago.

mark manning said...

I doubt that Frank can run ! He's too fat !

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning...That's absolutely not true,the man has proven to the world-mind you- in the Cassava Patch-mind you-that he can outrun the speed of a bullet.The man is a bad dude! The other day he was on his morning run, which he religiouly done every morning, but as part of his security, military trusted people would be placed in strategic spots, well one of these idiots cough-out loud as Voreqe got
to his spot. Poor Voreqe thought some one had shot him,he droped to the pavement unconcious. The idiot soldier,knowing first-aids and all that, jumped into action and started to give the commander the mouth to mouth recicitation? when the commander came too,he saw the big mouth coming down at him? He jumped-up and beat the shit out of the poor soldier for scaring the living shit out of him?"Dont you ever do that again tome or you'll be fire",said the very annoyed commander.

paula raqeukai said...

...just one message to Dan Urai and Flexi Anthony...when the coup happened in 5/12/06...you were the same guys supporting the illegal regime together with your leader, you have no ethics neither any principle of true leadership for Fiji...stop fooling the people of Fiji....you're time is up in the wall just like VB & AK...the people of Fiji wants new blood to take the country forward...no more racial politics...we had enough...God Bless Fiji...

Fiji democrat said...

Let us face the facts. The actions of two Fiji unions in particular - Fiji Public Service Association and National Farmers Union - have been economically disastrous for Fiji and have led in many ways to the various coups. The FPSA blackmail on Government using Australian dock worker unions to boycott Fiji vessels meant Government had to cave in on their plans to downsize a grossly oversized Public Service which was eating up 70% of the tax income. That problem exists to this day.
The harvest boycotts against the EU subsidy policy to amalgamate farms, mechanise them & upgrade the mills has left the sugar industry now unable to compete in the world market and overall collapse. The architect and leader of these union activities was none other than Mahendra Chaudry. He was also part of the present coup.
Although I totally condemn the coup the Interim Government is correct to curtail the union actvities.
A democratically elected government must also crack down on them in the same way that Margaret Thatcher did when she saved the UK economy from union activity.

Anonymous said...

Time for workers of Fiji and all FNPF pensioners in Fiji revolution march and citizen arrest of the dozen junta thugs.

Anonymous said...

What is the charge?
What Law did Mr Urai break?
Did he bash any women?
Did he steal millions of dollars of Fijian people's money?
Did he commit the murder of Rabaka etc?
Did he recklessly interfered in other people's business eg FHL, which has now lost money by 49% compared to last year?
ALL THIS BAINIMARAMA DID and yet you did not arrest him.
Instead you go out and arrest someone who was trying to help the workers in his country?
Who is the real criminal here?
How many times do we have to ask this question.
Who is the real criminal here?
We asked this with Shalend Scott. Now we asking with Daniel Urai.

The police have lost all credibility in my eyes.
Mr Naivalurua , you are nothing but Bai's lapdog.
You have lost all credibility. You have no moral fortitude.
Sandhurst will be ashamed that one of its children turned out to be a low slimy shnivelling grovelling creature.

Teleni was better than you.

At least he had the nerve to go against Voreqe. But you, what can we say. It's embarrasing to think that a Fijian soldier can behave like this.

Mr Ioane Naivalurua. I heard you go to church.
What kind of church?
I don't think you worship the same God that David worshipped.
David stood up to Goliath but you are too scared of Voreqe.
May be you are just a sad selfish man like Voreqe. Full of his own self-importance.

Anyone who obeys Voreqe, is worse than Voreqe.

If you are a Policeman or Soldier and you are obeying Voreqe, then you are worse than him.
That is the TRUTH.
(if you don't believe me, then study King Ahab and his wife Jezebel and then see what God had to say about Ahaz in the end)

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Time for all Trade Unions to boycott all Fijis imports, exports and all travel in and out of Fiji. Save the Fijian People before any more deaths occur.

The Oracle said...

@Fiji democrat

The trade unions in Fiji were never the cause of the coups ... greedy politicians, disgruntled business interests, racist extremists and power-hungry army officers were.
Most Fiji unions have exercised their rights to invoke industrial action AS A LAST RESORT, in the interests of their MEMBERS.
I agree the National Farmers Union may be the exception - but let's face it - that's more a political movement than a trade union and yes, Chaudhry has used the organisation to further his political ambitions.
But let's not blame trade unions for the country's economic woes - remember, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
Trade Unions may, in the end, prove to be the only means of restoring democracy in Fiji. But they need to be united and not fragmented as they currently are with the recent efforts by Felix Anthony, Rajeshwar Singh and Daniel Urai appearing more like actions on the instruction of the Fiji Labour Party rather than the Fiji Trades Union Congress.
Following the implementation of the Essetial Industries Decree, the time is now right for the FTUC and the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU) to amalgamate and agitate for workers' rights. However, the FTUC should first revert to it's primary role of protecting worker's rights and divorce itself from the Fiji Labour Party - at the moment the FTUC and the FLP are one and the same... and workers' rights seem to have taken a back seat to political ambitions.

paula raqeukai said...

...these are the same people who shared the same bedroom with VB, MC and AK during the 5/12/06 event and its aftermath...they're the ones with no credibility left to lead the workers of this country let-alone the people of this country...why should we sympathize with them??????????????...at one hand they comprised themselves in 2006 and now they're trying to champion the rights of the workers....these are hypocritical people that should NEVER be trusted in this country....I don't support the coups and the illegal government...but I believe that what has happened should be lessons learnt by the people of Fiji...I believed that the loving God has allowed the event of 2006 to happen to remove all the dirty politics, the dishonest civil servants of Fiji, and the power hungry people; we Christians should re-examine ourselves, move forward and to graciously preach the true Christian principles of equality and fairness of all...God Bless Fiji...

Anonymous said...

Lets us not forget that Urai and Anthony made lot of money out of FNPF and were the decision makers when FNPF lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
It seems everyone who has fallen out with IG are joining democracy movement including some misfits like union leaders,Qarese supporters and Fiji Labor Party.
Democracy movement should be for those who want true democracy and not those who hide behind it and push their own agenda.

Anonymous said...

No sympathy for this guy and all the other Labour opportunists that should have stood up for the right thing at the right time.

They knew what they were doing then and now they can suffer the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Urai is a two-faced power hungry, oppotunists and like the rest of them - Anthony, Rajeshwar Singh, Biman Prasad, Mahendra Reddy, FNU VC, Ganesh Chand, board members selected by the interim regime, and others who have shown conflicting interests.

These people were friends with Ratu Kamisese Mara's govt, friends with Bavadra and Chaudary's government, publicly showed committment to Rabuka and Qarase's govt with their own hidden agendas. These are some Kailomas, some Chinese and some Kaidia (prominent Gujis, Muslims, Madrasis', Sikhs and others)

Urai has received his payments earlier than the rest, however, the rest of them will receieve their dues soon....al of them as listed.

God bless Viti

mark manning said...

@ anon 202 p.m.
You need to understand that an attack on anyone in Fiji by the Regime, is an attack on everyone in Fiji !

I recall somewhere, a famous black Preacher saying this :-
" Justice is INDIVISIBLE, Injustice anywhere, is a threat to Justice everywhere " :-

This is neither the time nor place to expose ones prejudices !

By the way, who made Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Judge, Jury and Executioner ?

Anonymous said...

daniel urai is tipped to be framed up charged for crimes related to VRF-sedition, conspiracy, plotting blah blah and 7 year gail set up for him in justice thug daniel court rooom.

Fiji democrat said...

Take heed of Paula Raqeukai comment. He is exactly right. True democrats decry the coup,its leaders & apologists, even more so these 'Johny come lately' socialists & unionists who were part of the event and now have swapped sides for personal gain.

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning

Are you saying that attack on Aborigines by a white Australia is attack on whole of Australia?
If that is the case then you should direct some of your time on protecting the rights of black Australians.

Fark Fanning said...


Good Advice.

After all charity begins at home!!

Fijiana said...

The detainment of Daniel Urai is not a shock to me. I think the unions and the general public in Fiji have for far too long accepted this regime by being “silent”. This is called “acceptance by silence.”

It is high time that the public in Fiji start a non-violet campaign, defiance, agitation and public demonstration. Every step should be taken to bring down this regime. At first upon removal of Qarese, Bainimarama had brought some major changes which were good for the country. Unfortunately after the core advisors were side lined, and Aiyaz Khaiyum took over the reins, the country has gone down to toilets. At the rate Fiji is going down, I will not be surprised if Fiji does not become another Zimbabwe.
The corruption is very much alive and thriving in Fiji from the highest level to the common civil servant. Police, LTA, Customs, Inland Revenue you name the department and I will proof to you the corruption in every last government entity. Were we not told that one of the reasons for the military takeover was to get rid of corruptions?
Can we afford a massive debt that this government is creating? Will we allow this government to create a deficit which our great grand kids and their great grand kids will have to repay off? Money is being spent by this regime very unwisely. No new legitimate business is investing in Fiji. We are depending on China, Korea and Malaysia. Look North policy might be good on short term basis, but in long run we will pay the price. Chinese are not so tolerant by nature. If we fail to repay them, we will become a second Tibet. Do we want that? Wake up people. We cannot afford this or allow this to go on.

People of Fiji as Swami Vivekananda had said,” Arise Awake and Stop Not Till the Goal Is Reached”. Let’s not allow Aiyaz and his Taliban family to ruin our beloved Fiji. We should demand immediate release of Daniel Urai on unconditional grounds. Unions in Fiji and overseas take an industrial action and do it NOW. Cripple the country and then let us rebuild. Just remember, delay in action is no action. This has gone on for too to long. Enough is enough. Let us show solidarity, stand united and take action.

Anonymous said...

You sounded like RUM with his personal spins. The guys you're trying to spin here were the same people who took advantage of Bainimarama illegal take-over to jump in and raids the FNPF coffer.The very institution established to protect the "WORKERS" IN THEIR OLD AGE? The very institution which they profess to protect was the same one they raided!
Oracle=Read Paula reqeukai & Anon@1:18pm enlightening contributions regarding these crooked union manipulators-Urai, Singh and Anthony-they have no credibility or leg to stand-on? I say, keep them away from the Unions, but keep them close, so we can charge them and alongside RUM, when the Military is removed from power?

Bolo said...

Sadly for Urai he with his corrupt leader Mahendra Pal Chaudhary and Felix Anthony were members of parliament who encouraged bainimarama to stage the coup in 2006.They quickly enriched themselves with positions in the unlawful regime and supported the suppression of us poor workers.Its a dog eat dog situation now and for us poor and struggling people the priority is the survival of our families each day.THESE UNION LEADERS OF OURS SUPPORTED TREASON AND THE BREAKING OF THE LAW WHICH CONFUSED US WORKERS rather than condemning the coup and calling for international union support back then which would have quickly brought an end to this evil regime.The good times that we enjoyed under an elected government has been stolen from us and Urai,Chaudhary and Felix Anthony are to blame judt as much as Bainimarama and others.CRIMINALS ALL.

Fiji Democrat said...

All these allegatuions of corruption against Voreqe are just that 'allegations' He is a man of integrity and he will be the first to submit to FICAC interrogation on restoration of democracy. Also all the army officers will go back to the army as he promised on return to democracy.

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that some of you bloggers are throwing stones at glass houses and accusing one and all [the illegal thugs may be criticized BIG time] for being 'this and that'.
Have ever for one moment thought about YOUR own private life?
Remember, when you point there are ALWAYS three fingers pointing back at you!!

Anonymous said...

OK to you OZ Unions - where to from now?
Urai is in the clink now!!
What are you going to do now?
Are you also toothless tigers that just talk a lot like your Government??
We need decisive actions - this lunatic of the PM does not believe in diplomacy and is a habitual and compulsive liar!!

Anonymous said...

May I honestly suggest that the Australian Government, Unions and the whole bang lot of them just back off and leave us to our problems. For the last SIX goddamn years we have suffered, and they are still talking and talking. Thank you BUT no thank you mate!!
F..K the diplomacy!!

Daurai said...

Well,play with the pig and you get mud all ova yourself whilst he has fun.

Who is Urai and the unions tying to kid??? They were the bloody instigators of this whole f...kin mess.

And RUM should be shot for also contributing his crap with Bainimarama in 2006.

Question is,why is Australia giving them visas and the red carpet treatment when other coup collaborators are in jail? Double standards Aussie and BTW..good on you Alan Joyce for locking the union criminals out of Qantas.Gillard should throw the lot in jail.

Fiji Democrat said...

In a short time Voreqe will restore the SDL Government to power to legitimise the situation and they will arrange new elections legally and democraetically. He will also submit himsef to FICAC to disprove the corruption allegations and will, as promised, return all his officers from Government back to the army.

Anonymous said...

Fiji-Austalia Business Council has very few Fijiazns on it

Anonymous said...


FIS said...

Urai, Anthony and Singh...I thanks you for working hard to try and clean up your mess.

U had contributed towards it upon the people of this nation when u were at the top with JVB and ASK.

When this is all over, u are all going out as well...u are all dirty and soiled by your involvement.

Fiji and trade unions of tomorrow do not need u any more.

Please clear your mess and your conscience