|BURROW: Democracy will win out.|
The ITUC last week got Fiji on the agenda at the International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva and isn't stopping there.
ITUC general secretary, Sharan Burrow, says it will this week petition for a Commission of Inquiry at a meeting of the ILO governing body.
Burrow told Coupfourpointfive the ITUC is committed to fighting for the rights of Fiji workers.
"The governments of the world must lift the pressure on this dictatorship. The ILO plays a significant role in that regard."
The ITUC is also putting its weight behind an ILO delegation being allowed to visit Fiji. The regime this year refused to let a team into to talk with employers and workers. It is now suggesting a December visit but it will stipulate the terms.
"The military dictatorship is not serious," says Burrow. "The proposal for a December mission is farcical when you consider the qualifications 'might' and under 'changed conditions'.
"Even more farcical was the presentation of Fiji's repressive laws as equivalent to the protection of workers in neighboring countries such as Australia."
The regime denies it tried to record FTUC delegate Felix Anthony at the ILO meeting in Geneva last week, despite reports there was a clear move to intimidate him.
"Film or no film the reality is a government that is simply showing its determination to repress criticism."
The changes in Burma have been hailed as an example of what can be achieved for Fiji, with time and persistence.
"No regime can ultimately survive the power of people and the Fiji unions have absolute support from workers all over the world."
Several union campaigns are underway, besides the work being done by the ITUC, including an initiative by Australia, New Zealand and American unions to encourage tourists to think twice about holidaying in Fiji.
Another powerful campaign is the American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations petition to drop Fiji from the generalised system of preferences program, which provides duty-free treatment to several businesses.
The case was heard last year in Washington but no decision has been handed down.