The general secretary of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, says the organisation will be taking part in the consultation process but only to argue its position.
Singh says FICTU has maintained its opposition to the military takeover from Day One and its views are unchanged and well-documented.
He says it is also well-recorded FICTU members have not accepted any positions on boards and committees offered by the regime.
|Mick Beddoes with Laisenia Qarase|
He says the union has called for the appointment of a civilian interim government to take the country to elections under the 1997 Constitution and Fiji has never had a better Constitution.
"It's a Constitution that provides for a Bill of Rights chapter, which has been the envy of others. It guarantees universal freedoms for all. For the first time, our Constitution entitled our workers the right to belong to trade unions of their choice and to fair labour practice.
"More importantly, it provided for a multi-party Cabinet giving most of our people a say in the running of the country's affairs. We had such a Cabinet in 2006. It was running well and gaining support."
Singh says the 1997 Constitution was obviously acceptable also to the coup makers of 2006 for almost two and a half years. He says they only chose to abrogate it in April, 2009 - on Good Friday, a day after losing the case on coup challenge in the Court of Appeal, which declared the coup unlawful.
Singh says despite what appears to have been support for the Constitution, the regime has now decided to write up a new Constitution and has announced its process and time lines.
The union leader says it is unacceptable that such announcements are made without consultation.
"Announcing it unilaterally also does not augur well for us. It sends a signal that the consultation will be a facade and the regime will eventually do as it chooses.
"Indeed, this is evident from the repeated announcements on what the regime has decided are non-negotiable matters during the Constitution consultation process.
"FICTU would prefer that an interim civilian government was appointed to conduct elections under the 1997 Constitution. The Parliament then elected, can consider amendments to the Constitution, including any electoral reforms as a matter of priority and call elections under the properly amended constitution as soon as possible.
"This will also be generally consistent with the Court of Appeal ruling. Taking this path will generate much needed support from the international community given its legality."
Singh says under FCTU's suggestion the country would return to parliamentary rule quicker and notes that the decision to abrogate any country's constitution should always be that of the peoples, not military intervention as has happened so often in Fiji.
The former Opposition leader Mick Beddoes is meanwhile urging people to engage in the consultation process but says it is not a call to embrace the regime or to acquiesce.
Beddoes says he had some concerns about aspects of the process but has been encouraged by the words of Frank Bainimarama that people should undertake the process in an unselfish, patient and inclusive manner.
But Beddoes warns that people should be under no illusion about the daunting task that lies ahead and "we should accept the fact that there will be many pitfalls, obstacles and imperfections to encounter along the way".
He says if people can collectively focus on the end result of returning to a democratic and representative system of governance then "each and every one of us must do what we can do over the next 29 months to ensure we achieve that ultimate outcome."
Mick Beddoes statement