FTUC Acting National Secretary
Fiji is once again in news for all the wrong reasons after being ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for denial and abuse of workers’ rights. This is the latest in rankings compiled by the International Trade Union Confederation and included on its website. The index is a compilation of reports analysed from a country’s varying degree of collective labour rights enjoyed by our workers and is reported globally. Fiji is the only Pacific island country rated alongside India, China and even Egypt.
Fiji is rated No. 5 which according to the ITUC Index means “No guarantee of rights. Countries with a rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world for workers to work in…workers have effectively no rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes….”
This is shameful and more reason for the FTUC’s continuous laborious calls to the government to shape up and stop the violation of workers’ rights.
Legislations such as the Essential National Industries that limits the rights of workers in the mining, aviation, pine and other industries shows how low the government has stooped to restrain workers from fighting for their legitimate rights and expectations.
The FTUC would like to remind the government that every action made against the Fiji worker, no matter how ordinary is taken into account by our sisters and brothers in the union movement across the globe.
Our workers have suffered enough. The latest (amendment) regulation under ERP by Legal Notice No.11 dated 28th February 2014 is a serious indictment by the Regime for offering a pittance of $2.00 an hour as the National Minimum Wage. The restraining of rights through ENI, the shutting down of workers’ political voices through the Political Parties (Amendment) Decree 2014, the laying off of more workers in recent times, these and more are daily reminders of the despair faced by the poorest of the working poor.
The FTUC calls on the government to restore the rights of workers and provide a ray of hope for more than half of the population of Fiji struggling to put bread on the table.
Fiji’s rating is a disgraceful reflection of government’s lack of concern for the working poor who deserve to toil with dignity.