BusinessNZ and CTU call for respect of labour standards in Fiji
BusinessNZ and the NZ Council of Trade Unions have combined in a joint statement calling on the government of Fiji to respect their international obligations on labour standards.
Both organisations are calling on the government of Fiji to take immediate steps to restore workplace rights, allow freedom of association and comply with recommendations of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and its tripartite Committee on Freedom of Association.
BusinessNZ and the CTU are increasingly concerned about the deterioration in labour standards in Fiji including the arbitrary detention, arrest and harassment of senior trade union figures in Fiji for exercising civil and labour rights which are recognised internationally.
“The CTU has raised our serious concerns about the severe restrictions on work rights and the arrest and detention of union leaders. And the ILO has repeatedly called on the regime to bring its law into line with Fiji’s international obligations,” said Helen Kelly, CTU President. “It is now time for the government of Fiji to show that it will respect human rights at work.”
The ILO Committee on Freedom of Association has recommended that the Fiji government accept a direct contacts mission to inquire into and press the case for application of basic international law embodied in Conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO. The Committee also stated that the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, which entered into force on 9 September 2011, gives rise to a number of violations of Conventions 87 and 98 and the principles on freedom of association and collective bargaining.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said, “We urge the government of Fiji to accept the ILO mission with an open mind and to use the opportunity to constructively assist Fiji to move quickly back into compliance with international labour standards.”