The Fiji Sun through its column today by Nemani Delaibatiki, Managing Editor impressed upon the Unions to organize the unorganized sectors. Read article – F S Nemani
The National Secretary Felix Anthony writes to Fiji Sun ( as below) to engage with Unions to form a Union at their workplace. The FTUC appreciates the stance taken by Nemani and looks forward to Fiji Sun making it happen for the Unions and workers of the country beginning with Fiji Sun.
The Managing Director
Fiji Sun Ltd.
Private Mail Bag
I take this opportunity to thank your Managing Editor, Mr. Nemani Delaibatiki for calling on Trade Unions to organize the private sector. This has been a difficult area to organize, more so with the Draconian Decrees that have existed for about 7 years now and a Ministry of Labour which is reluctant to enforce labour laws for decades. This is compounded by the fact that we have an Arbitration Tribunal which can take anywhere from 2 years to 6 years to deal with disputes. Often when workers join Unions in the private sector, they are victimized or even terminated. One can hardly make ends meet with the current minimum wage let alone not having a job.
Mr. Delaibatiki’s call is a welcome invitation to the Trade Union Movement to organize. Being a man of principle, who appears to champion workers’ rights, we seek to organize workers at Fiji Sun. In this regard, we seek a meeting with you and with your workers at a suitable time when we can discuss the possibility of your employees joining the Union. This has really got to be the first time an employer in the open column of its own newspaper has demanded that workers need to be organized. For this reason, we will publish this letter on our website to promote Fiji Sun. The only other contradiction in his article is that he appears to argue that unions are no longer relevant but urges FTUC to continue dialogue with government to avoid a Commission of Inquiry into violations of workers’ rights. These talks are about all workers and not the 30% as Mr Delaibatiki claims earlier in his article.
I am aware that Fiji Sun is a Subsidiary Company of C. J. Patel Group. I take it that they too agree with Mr. Delaibatiki’s call. I shall write to the Chief Executive Officer requesting a similar meeting.
I thank you most sincerely and look forward to your response and a proposed time to meet. Please feel free to report this correspondence in your newspaper with a possible heading “We Put Our Money Where Our Mouth Is” or “We Practice What We Preach”.