#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Crocodile tears at the eleventh hour

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crocodile tears at the eleventh hour

GAME PLAYER: Bainimarama last week.
Has the illegal prime minister really appealed to trade unions to back off from petitioning the  US Generalized system of Preferences Scheme to withdraw the duty free access to Fiji exporters?

He and supporters have certainly tried to blame the Fiji Trade Union Congress leaders Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai for its current demise but the regime has no-one to blame but itself.

Over the weekend, Frank Bainimarama told the Divisional Crime Prevention carnival he was disappointed by the action of the trade union's which could hurt Fiji exporters and lead to job losses. (39 companies are affected and a loss of 15,000 jobs has been touted).

Bainimarama has not spoken directly to FTUC and has only made the 'appeal' via a news story, so we're inclined to think that while this might look like a softening (and some might say a first since 2006), it is lame and typical of his modus operandi.

Bainimarama happily allowed his hand-picked attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, to manufacture and impose the punishing Essential Service's Decree with no consultation and no regrets because it suited him.

Fiji has been now forced to send a delegation to Washington where it will tomorrow defend the FTUC action, but it was warned a number of times about being fair to the labour movement, even as recent as last month, when it sent the ILO delegation packing.

The Auckland based Council for a Democratic Fiji rightly notes in a statement released today that Bainimarama's 11th hour appeal is unconvincing.

"The truth of  the  matter  is  that  the  Essential Services Decree  blatantly  violates international labor principles and standards, which is the only reason for the US sanctions. So, if the US government requires these standards be met by Fiji, how is it the fault of the union leaders? Like Fiji, Iraq is also facing  the same sanction, so are there people like Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai in Iraq too?"

Bainimarama was warned as early as December in 2011 by Sharon Burrow,   General   Secretary   International   Trade   Union   Confederation   in a letter that the  Essential Services Decree was in breach of the international labour standards.

AS CDFD says, Bainimarama chose instead to accept the assurances of Sayed Khaiyum, and today he finds himself resorting to the blame game.

Burrows letter had said:

BURROW: Letter had warned of mplications
“The Fiji government has issued several decrees that sharply curtail fundamental labor rights in both the  public and private sectors. Some of the decrees also eliminate all access to judicial review and redress  for past, present, and future violations of those rights or to question the legality of the decrees  themselves. These sweeping changes were made without any prior consultation with the relevant trade unions.

"On May 16, 2011, your government promulgated the Employment Relations Amendment Decree which amended the Employment Relations Promulgation of 2007 to exclude all public service workers from the scope of its’ coverage. Thus, roughly 15,000 workers in Fiji’s public service were divested of their important labor rights available under that law, such as collective bargaining and the right to strike, overnight.

"On July 29, the government promulgated the Essential Industries Decree, which divested most private sector  workers  in  key  industries  of  their  rights.  As  explained  by  the  ILO  Director  General  Juan Somavia, the decree has “very far reaching implications” including the “ending of existing collective agreements, the designation of new bargaining agents which may not be trade unions, and the possible imposition of compulsory arbitration of disputes and other limits on the right to strike.”

"Implementing  regulations  issued  on  September  9,  2011  subsequently  designated  the  finance, telecoms, civil aviation, and public utilities sectors as essential and purports to allow the military government to include any other industries as and when it wishes.[11]

"Together,  these  decrees  are  widely  viewed  as  a  direct  attack  on  the  independent  trade  union movement, among the strongest voices in Fijian civil society.

"In the five years since you assumed power through extra-constitutional means, few steps have been taken to restore the right of Fiji Islanders to participate fully and freely in the governance of their own country. Rather than embracing the important role that civil society, human rights defenders, and trade unions play in good governance, your government has systematically repressed such groups. As international human rights, labor, and press organizations, we urge you to commit publicly to your international human rights obligations and take all necessary measures to protect human rights in Fiji”.

Bainimarama was also at the time urged to show leadership in a number of areas including ordering security personnel to uphold human rights, allow free assembly and association, investigate  and  prosecute  all  security  force  personnel  who  engage  in  arbitrary  arrest  and detention, investigate attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and physical abuse of detainees - none of which he agreed to.


Anonymous said...

Mata va sona, ulukau tamata boci.

Anonymous said...

Don't make wimps out of the escapees! The paid for their wrong. Villages that excel in Fiji today socially and economically do so because of ORDER. You cannot have your cake and eat it. The problem with human rights activitists is, they cry loud and clear but will not pick up the shit when it splats all over. Look at what child and womens rights is doing the world today including Fiji. Families are split with many broken souls around. I care because I only have ONE marriage partner and have children. I live in Fiji and believe it is made worse by adoption of a world culture that has gone sick!

RFMF said...

PM begging is a significant breakthrough of continued pressure from the unions and ILO and now it seems it is finally changing tune of a arrogant man who has been continued being misguided by AG. the decision to expel the ILO was a decision based on the advise of AG and the government should not blame unions of asking for tough actions against the regime.

Frank must understand that that he cant continue to oppress the people without facing its consequences when he ignores the repeated calls from even military council to sack AG and that AG has been using him all along. he must understand that he road as Pm is about to end, he was the person behind the coup 2006 and AG has no part in that. he will face the brunt of law and international community not AG.

while we regret job loses in Fiji if USA imposes the sanctions but frank must understand that by abusing labour rights and ILO conventions he cant simply walk away. the same goes go his two new friends IRAN and North Korea where 200million are facing poverty because their governments stance against human rights and laws. the law is same for all.

the people must also understand that when they dont act and continue to be oppressed from the fear of guns they must also suffer the consequences of supporting a dictatorship.

we have the power to appoint a democratic government and that choice is a collective right of 800,000 people of Fiji even compel the president to act- but when we remain deaf and dumb to the reality of situation we have no right to complain if US takes the decision.

we have also being told by some UN delegates that Fiji pack with Iran and North Korea has not gone down with US very well.

mark manning said...

@ anonymous 150 P.M.
You sound like a very insecure man !
If your partner is going to leave you because she has more choices under a modern society, then your better off without her.

But the topic here is Frank pleading with the unions not to go to the Americans and state the reality of what is happening in fiji to workers rights etc. And frank and aiyaz would only be doing this because they need money to pay the stupid soldiers to maintain the protection they need more and more as each day goes by.
Naboro is waiting Frank and there will be no mercy mate, not for you nor any of your supporters.

If I was in Frank's shoes right now, I'd be building a state of the art correctional facility to house me in comfort once I'm sentenced to life imprisonment.
I'd put in a tennis court, swimming pool, library, internet room, satellite television, video game consoles etc.

I hope Felix has the brains to milk this for everything he can, if only he'd taken a stand at the beginning of the coup instead of foolishly siding with the Regime. A lesson learnt I hope.

Warlord said...

Tell bainimarama to suck cock harder!!

Anonymous said...

Are we at last to see some real action by the internatioal community and trade unions?

Pfft Pfft said...

Frank neds to come out under the skirts of Khiyum. Until he does he is just pussy wussy.

Anonymous said...

David Voss says there's a real chance the US could freeze the duty free access and jobs will be lost. It'll be a big hurt it that happens and some will try to blame the unions.

Anonymous said...

Didn't one of the US Ambassadors say that a 'shrink' would have a 'field day' with Bai's head? I can now understand the reason. I''d say Voss is going Bai's way too. Voss is just a failed business man. He couldn't manage his motor vehicle company that sold subaru vehicles. now he profess to be 'king' of american business. what a laugh.

Anonymous said...

Real threat of over 15,000 job losses

Publish date/time: 01/10/2012 [13:13]

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15,000 jobs are expected to be affected if the US authorities decide tomorrow that a special scheme that provides duty free access to Fiji exports are removed.

Fiji-US Business Council chairman David Voss has said that the 39 companies are concerned that their exports and workers will be greatly affected as there will be definite job losses.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Voss said the Fiji Trades Union Congress is behind this move as they want the decrees like the Essential National Industries Decree removed.

He questioned what purpose would this serve if many people lose their jobs when Fiji is removed from the scheme.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

If the decision goes against Fiji in Washington DC tomorrow then it would stop us benefitting from the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme and put 15,000 Fijian jobs at risk through loss of exports.

The government stated that the Fiji Trade Union Congress and other unions want to stop Fiji from benefitting from the US GSP Scheme which allows duty free access into the US imports from developing countries.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the unionists should stop using people for their own benefit.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

We will speak to the FTUC later this afternoon.

Story by: Vijay Narayan and Filipe Naikaso

Anonymous said...

hey, Raibaci......don't start blaming it on the unions now, you thieving, lowlife. Your bullying tactics are coming back to bite your sorry ass....what say Chief No War.

People of the Land said...

I still believe with all my hearts that this is an opportunity for all citizens of Viti to find a common ground and work things out unselfishly. The Commander needs to listen to his senior officers and draw from them so that he can always have broad views of national issues and seriously discussed this immunity issue because by look of it still 90% of the population will not agree with immunity. Our Chiefs and Church Elders can be part of this and if the military can present its mata ni gasau will provide a new perspective to this whole saga-we can start afresh and we know there are some good things have happened during the current term but just because all were tainted under dictatorship it affects the overall picture and nullify genuine and honest commitment form many people especially senior civil servants. I put my hats off to some of our senior civil servants and army officers in particular.

Au vakabauta ni na rawa ni da vakamalumalumu taki keda me rawa tiko ga ni da na vei uasiviti ena vei vakarokorokotaki.

Sa i evei na veilomani vaka kawa tamata vata.

Ke sa dredre oqo qai vakacava ena loma ni tini na yabaki mai oqo...on ira na luveda era na sotava na dredre leveu kevaka eda na sega ni walia na leqa ni kua.

Kalogata tiko na kawai taukei

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why is it that only at times like this we remember that the United States is Fiji's biggest customer? The myopic Essential Services Decree authored by Dave Pflieger's people at Khaiyum's behest virtually guarantees an adverse decision for Fiji. Bainimarama's arrogance and dissembling in blaming the victims will only serve to confirm the Americans in that decision.

Bainimarama's regime will clearly be directly responsible for the loss of these many thousands of jobs. Fiji has already been struggling so much economically because of this stupid dictatorship, but this blow will almost surely trigger a major recession in Fiji, and this time the regime can't plausibly blame anyone but itself.

If Bainimarama were smart -- which he isn't, of course, but if he were -- he'd cashier the one man, Khaiyum, who is most responsible for this fiasco and rescind the stupid decree in order to attempt to restore these thousands of jobs. Such a step would also go a long way toward restoring some of the popularity he once enjoyed before he started listening to Khaiyum's errant nonsense.

He can ask anyone about this -- the Military Council, his closest supporters, his fiercest opponents -- and they would all agree on this simple point.

Also, and more fundamentally, anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of how the world operates would have seen this coming from the beginning. But Bainimarama and Khaiyum have very shallow world views. When it comes to Bainimarama and Khaiyum, it's a case of the blind leading the blind... into a blind alley.

Kai Colo said...

what cowardly people to swear and say unrighteous words here using the amonumous cover...

Anonymous said...

Maichod changes his stance and gives his ass to unions hahahah

PM hopes for US scheme to stay

Publish date/time: 01/10/2012 [17:27]

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The prime minister has revealed that as part of Fiji’s progress toward establishing parliamentary democracy, the government is reviewing current labour laws to ensure their compliance with the 34 International Labour Organization conventions that Fiji has ratified.

As only a few hours remain for Fiji to appear in the US government’s public hearing on whether exports from 39 Fiji companies should still have duty free access into America, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the Employment Relations Advisory Board comprised of representatives from government, trade unions and employers is undertaking the review process.

Commodore Bainimarama said the government is committed to protecting all Fijian workers and will soon adopt Fiji’s first national minimum wage to ensure that they receive fair earnings.

He said it is also important for the employers, unions and employees to make submissions to the Constitution Commission.

He said the government seeks to ensure that unions can take collective action as directed by their member workers and are subject only to restrictions that are generally accepted to protect the public good.

The prime minister said the government also seeks to protect the rights of those workers who choose not to affiliate with unions.

Commodore Bainimarama said over the weekend that the unionists should stop using people for their own benefit.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

He said about 75,000 people will be affected if Fiji is removed from the scheme.

Acting Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma is making the presentation on behalf of the government in the US.

If the decision goes against Fiji in Washington DC tomorrow, then it would stop us from benefitting from the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme and put 15,000 jobs at risk through loss of exports.

Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) president Daniel Urai said the union should not be blamed as it did not bring up the decrees like the Essential National Industries Decree.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

When asked about the job losses expected and whether FTUC is behind it, Urai said the government just has to remove the decrees that limits the rights of the workers and stops them from challenging the decree in any court of law.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Meanwhile, Fiji-US Business Council chairman David Voss said the 39 companies are concerned that their exports and workers will be greatly affected as there will be definite job losses.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Voss said the Fiji Trades Union Congress is behind this move as they want the decrees like the Essential National Industries Decree removed.

He questioned what purpose would this serve if many people lose their jobs when Fiji is removed from the scheme.

SEMI MEO said...

Lol..lol…lol…oh boy…you guys should know Prime Minister Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama by now!!...Good heavens!!...for over 2,000 days this man has been your Prime Minister!...yep..more than 2,000 days….of qll people, we thought cyber mongers should by now able to could deduce his drift any day of week any decree of the era or news he calculatingly features in!!

Hello…..Coup or no Coup, Fiji has continued be glorified and hold eminence with the UN..Hello..UN is not only US, Aust or other Anglo super powers…oh..yes..let me see..oh, yes Fiji’s friend China and budding economic partner Russian..oh and the Pacific Cousins from South America..that is not even counting the Rastafarian boys mega votes in the West Indies and Coup Club members of Africa.

Just that before Uncle Sam & Co bullies small boys like Fiji he has to watch his back…especially when Uncle Chan and others may now have much interest in some secluded bay on the coastline of the South Pacific…may just be too close to Guam and other of US territories……

Watch this column!!

Anonymous said...

hahahahhahha..............bainimarama............hahahahahahahaha.,.......................ulukau...............hahahahahaha...............ululala........................hahahahaha..................no school...........................hahahahaha...hehehehehehehehehehehe................hihihihihihi.......hohohohohohohohoho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


FRank did we not tell you to get AG Aiyaz Khaiyum out of your team....

You did not listen to us the Military council....

More damage to Fiji than good.

Second - AG is destroying all Fijian institutions and Unions in Fiji........

Our suspicions has always been and will remain to be that AG Aiyaz Khaiyum is building a muslim empire to destroy all but supremacy to the minority Muslims....

Frank, you better think very careful, him or us at Delainabua...

We are kind of fed up with all the lies and in human treatment you're doing to our fellow Fijians (taukei's),

Act now or we all pay the price..

Delainabua loyalist...

Anonymous said...

Sux kaium n the china guys

Anonymous said...

The fella must smell kaium sweating

Anonymous said...

He could not even manage his own wife

Anonymous said...

Semi, we now know your boy Frank very well. We also know that, like you, the only glory Fiji has tasted under your boy has been at the wrong side of the glory hole. The wrong end of the stick, as they say.

Anonymous said...

Semi, you're certifiably daft. What's all this nonsense about Fiji's 'eminence' with the UN? The UN is moving to replace Fiji in UNAMI with the likes of Georgians and Mongolians.

Our 'friends' the Chinese are supporting the thugs who overthrew our government. Apart from the regime, they're now the main source of organised crime in Fiji. They're using their embassy officers to bribe the police for special favours. They're monitoring our phone calls and sharing intel with the regime. They're sending Fiji into a death spiral by loaning the illegal regime millions in order to make the regime look good, give their own workers jobs, and skim off money from kick-backs. You think Uncle Chan wants to import Fijian labour?

Our 'budding economic partner' Russia gives us no aid whatsoever that isn't tied to recognition for Abkhazia, the illegal breakaway province from Georgia for which Russia seeks recognition. Their other interest in Fiji is in obtaining a naval base here. No respect for Fijian sovereignty either way.

All of the so-called 'Pacific cousins from South America', the 'Coup Club' in Africa, and the Rastafarians of the Caribbean combined wouldn't make up for even a fraction of the shortfall in trade from the United States. How many Fijians owe their jobs to these countries? Eleven? Twelve? And do you think they're going to vote in solidarity with Fiji's regime just because they're anti-democratic?

You've been sniffing too much washroom detergent, my friend.

You don't want Uncle Sam to bully Fiji, yet you think Fiji can bully Uncle Sam?

This is an election year in the United States. You remember elections, don't you? Do you think the US Trade Representative is going to favour Fiji's dictator and his illegal regime over the rights of working men and women, especially when Obama needs the support of organised labour in the so-called battleground states?

The Americans built us Nadi, but they can destroy it, too. That is to say that this regime is foolishly playing with fire, especially when it aligns itself with the
Ikes of Iran and North Korea. After all, think about it. When Fiji poses a threat to Guam, Guam will pose a far larger threat to Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Bomb waiting to go off. Bai has covered his ass hope the unions have too.

Anonymous said...

The regime was never going to go back on the decrees how could they. Too much at risk.

Anonymous said...

Bai why the people and the FTUC leadership are against you and your regime simply because you are illegal. Don't you know that? Common wake u stupid arse.

SEMI MEO said...

Anonymous October 2, 2012 1:23 AM…well, at least we all know what you’ve been sniffing to cause your tirade of nothingness on what YOU want all of us to believe as politics of International trade and sovereign chess game!

First, all your rant is just that!...rant..worse of all, faceless, nameless and of no iota of credence what so ever!!..in other words, snorting babble of probably some failed diplomat, sacked civil servant, credit chasing lawyer or..some one who may have saluted Voreki with yesh shir yesh shir in their hocky dorry days with the Rear Admiral…lol…lol..now ducking under the” bele ni “ sulu I ra and shari…

One day Fiji is going to take people like you to task…cause you knew that under your very nose “Chinese are supporting the thugs who overthrew our government”.. you knew “they're now the main source of organised crime in Fiji”…you knew “using their embassy officers to bribe the police for special favours’… you knew..“They're monitoring our phone calls and sharing intel with the regime”…we challenge you to do something about you allegations…or you are just another coward waiting for your grand kids to spit on your grave for doing nothing..nothing…oh..sorry fadelessly and namelessly blogging to nothingness !!

All we could say is let’s not pre-empt the delegation now negotiating on our behalf in the International arena for us…
Let’s not be too concerned with the ranting of Unionist..as if they represent the majority of the people of Fiji…goodness…there are more decent human beings in Fiji who are NOT controlled by the unions..non unionised dedicated workers who prefer not to have their pay deducted to keep the unionist fat, ordinary citizen who want nothing to do with socialist movements, villagers, students..baloney..all of a sudden these Union bosses want the rest of us to place them on the pedestal as saviour of Fiji……well, to day..they are the culprit crusading to squiz life out of our economy..

Oh..of course Obama is as you claimed worried to appease the “organised labour in the so-called battleground states”..oh but no mention of other Fiji friends in the US administration (both Dem/Rep)like Aunty Clinton and other ”lobbyist” committed to humanity and not Union puppets….

..and STOP sniffing for wild allegations coated in your saliva...!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Semi Meo America is not bullying Fiji your hero Voceke is!! What part of that don't you understand? Fence sitters like you semi pussy is the reason Voceke and his master Aiyarse are continuing to rule Fiji illegally.

Anonymous said...

There you have it, folks -- the Brisbane janitor who lectures to empty stalls on why Hillary Clinton will support the labour views of a lying dictator instead of trade unionists and the ILO. He argues that to impose a decree nullifying virtually all collective bargaining rights is to be on the side of humanity, as if Bainimarama and Aiyaz were on the side of the angels.

Some how I have trouble seeing it that way, but let's just wait and find out if he's right that Hillary Clinton will come to Fiji's rescue.

Do trade unionists represent the majority of Fijians? They may or may not. But the same could be asked of the regime, and with greater reason.

If Fiji's trouble with the ILO is because of our unions and not the regime's Essential Services Decree, then why is the ILO criticising the latter but not the former?

Is the demise of the sugar industry also the fault of the labour unions, or might it have something to do with the tons of EU money that the regime cost the industry because of its arrogance?

Be careful, Semi, because by challenging bloggers to do something, you could be construed to be inciting people to violence against the regime. You wouldn't want to get a visit by some of its goons. Better keep those broomsticks locked away in the closet just in case.

SEMI MEO said...

Faveless and namless cyber thug of October 3, 2012 1:31 AM…like we said.. oh you faceless and nameless one sounds like one you were at one time used to hunky-dory with your Prime Ministers Rear Admiral Bainimarama..a former pet pet kid….what has happened??..tell us..has the pay check from the Unions as their cyber lobbyist more enticing …uh?
Don’t you worry about the broom stick in the closet my friend…..just be very careful you do not step on the wrong end of one…
For six years these pretend patriotic crusaders for democracy and sanity have soiled the cyber boxing ring of this esteemed column…severally during our post coup journey have proudly pointed us to the criminality, immorality, dubiety of the present regime and her colluding cohorts.
..well..that is all they could achieve..well nothing really…except soil this cyber sphere ….what a life..what a life…grand cowards ..nameless and faceless …I rather have broom sticks and detergent to ID at least what I am and do…at least Fiji will remember me and my broom sticks and my occasional commentating on issues I believe I should put my 2 cents piece on….as for now, the brush end of the broom is in the face of these anonymous wanna be bloggers…

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:09pm...The reason Frank is still leading Fiji after 6 years is because of cowards like you and the rest of you cowards on this site who hide and fight from a social media trying to emulate the Egytian method but too afraid to get out there and fight where the battle is fought. FUCKING COWARDS.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:26, what is your contribution? What blow have YOU struck for liberty?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how about that, @8:26? What's the matter, cat got your tongue?