Home » Economy » United States AFL-CIO Puts Fiji on a 21 day Notice to change its Stance on Labor Rights – CFDFiji.org

United States AFL-CIO Puts Fiji on a 21 day Notice to change its Stance on Labor Rights – CFDFiji.org

American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations

The American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) Hearing in the United States against Fiji for breach of labor rights and standards has ended its preliminary hearings with issuing a 21 day Notice served on Fiji to resolve the labor rights breaches or face the consequences of losing the duty free access.

This effectively means all the decrees that infringe rights and interest of workers will have to be revoked.

These decrees include:

  1. State Services Decree of 2009 (No. 6);
  2. Administration of Justice Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 9);
  3. Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10);
  4. Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2010 (Decree No. 14);
  5. Trade Disputes Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10);
  6. Employment Relations Amendment Decree of 2011 (Decree No. 21);
  7. Public Service Act (Amendment) 2011; and
  8. The Essential Industries Decree of 2011.

Following the Hearing, the AFL-CIO categorically stated that only the Fijian authorities can avert the US sanctions now before the substantive ruling on the matter is completed.

Radio Australia has also reported;

“…in an interview with Radio Australia, the United States trade union movement has said that suspending Fiji’s access to the US market is the last resort, at least not right away, and that they would prefer the interim government work with the authorities to improve workers rights. Speaking to Radio Australia, American Federation of Labour- Congress of Industrial Organisations Trade Policy Specialist, Celeste Drake said the trade union movement in the United States do not necessarily want Fiji to be punished with loss of preferential access to the US market because of its record on workers’ rights. She said onus is on the Fiji Govt saying that the massive job losses to Fijians will only occur “if the government has absolutely no intention of working with the US government to try and improve things for workers. So it’s really all in the Fijian government’s hands.”

The regime’s leader and its rogue Attorney General must swallow their oversize egos and pride to immediately revoke all the decrees identified by ILO and open fresh dialogue with the Trade Unions and Employers without delay.

This is not a time procrastinate or massage each other’s ego. The regime must accept responsibility now for a cardinal error of judgement in promulgating such anti-labor rights laws without considering international conventions. It’s defeat for tyranny and victory for workers in Fiji.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji

19 thoughts on “United States AFL-CIO Puts Fiji on a 21 day Notice to change its Stance on Labor Rights – CFDFiji.org

  1. PM , all these petty things has back to haunt us and this is what we as army been saying to you but you chose to listen to AG instead. see today none of these assholes are there for you. you have sent Teleni to china, mara and driti decommissioned. who is there to look after you – NOBODY.

    activate the military council and adopt a exit strategy mentioned to you by Teleni and sideline AG. we at QEB have been now awaiting 6 months for changes we all have been hearing in whispers. commander you are not a bad guy but you have kept bad company !

  2. Hoodwinking in the international stage with un-informed audience by the regime unfortunately seem to be working. The committee panel listening to these regime presenters have taken the bait hook, line and sinker. The presentations is heavily massaged to portray a contrasting view of what is really going on e.g in the public order amendment decree they did not cover the complete draconian conditions like compol’s pm and army’s addtional power to arrest and detain people for so many days. The other point to consider is the regime’s habitual dodginess where they would revert to status quo after pretending to agree to ultimatums like they did when they replaced the PER with another repressive POAD. USA should be smart and look through the lies of the regime. They should demand for no less than the withdrawal of the repressive anti workers decrees as well as the POAD.

  3. The FMF army loyal to Fiji and its 800000 people must save fiji from destruction via mother of all coups to arrest the corrupt dictator and his dozen junta thugs and some corrupt civilans and return Fiji to democracy and rule of law.

  4. ASK ke gand faat ge. Sucking Frank now trying to keep his job. Sofield fired from AFL. Lawlor next to go from LTA.

  5. Te mara magaitinamu

    Tell fijians why your father ordered Hon. David Tonganivalu killed.

  6. bai killed david toganivalu,kamisese mara ordered bai to do him,he learn how to kill people when he was in the chillen narvy under pinnoche,thats why bai keeps on climbing through the ranks,he was given special treatment

  7. Bai good sense must prevail, just do another change:
    1 you become president
    2 appoint a caretaker government
    3 have elections in may 2013
    you will be pardoned and same time you will retain all the respect you lost in local and international community [eg S.L.Rabuka].

  8. US Unions critical of Fiji’s record on workers rights

    Updated 3 October 2012, 10:10 AEST

    The trade union movement in the United States says they don’t necessarily want Fiji to be punished with loss of preferential access to the US market because of its record on workers rights.

    US Unions critical of Fiji’s record on workers rights (Credit: ABC)

    The American Federation of Labour- Congress of Industrial Organisations, the umbrella organisation of American trade unions, is one of the parties making submissions to a government hearing in Washington about Fiji’s involvement in the generalised system of preferences program which provides preferential duty-free treatment for products from developing countries.

    Fiji’s interim government has sent a delegation to a hearing in Washington, and they’ll be arguing that their record on workers rights is better than the local unions are saying.

    The AFL-CIO says suspending Fiji’s access to the US market is a last resort, and they’d prefer the interim government to work with US authorities to improve workers rights.

    Bruce Hill reports.

    Presenter: Bruce Hill

    Speaker: Celeste Drake, the AFL-CIO’s Trade Policy Specialist

    SONG: I am a union woman, just as brave as I can be. I do not like the bosses and the bosses don’t like me. Join the CIO, come join the CIO.

    HILL: The American trade union movement has deep roots in the often bitter and violent labor disputes of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a bit more established and respectable these days, but its radical roots have always given it a sense of international solidarity with other union movements, and this is shown by the support the AFL-CIO is giving to the Fiji unions in the hearings about Fiji’s preferential access to the US market.

    Celeste Drake is the AFL-CIO’s Trade Policy Specialist, and she says the American unions want the Fiji government to change its ways, and punishing it by making access to the US market more difficult is not something they want to see happen, at least not right away.

    DRAKE: But there will be no decision right away, it’s a hearing, it’s basically sort of a fact gathering hearing. What happens typically, I understand that the government of Fiji is putting out a big wall about how horrible this is going to be. But nothing is really immediately under threat. Typically the United States government will take the information presented at the hearing, they will probably do at least one visit to the country to meet with workers, the government, businesses to sort of gather its own facts independently and try and verify the truth of the allegations. And then it typically works with the government, to the extent the government is willing to work with it, to say here are the things that we found that really do need improvement, assuming it finds such things and I have no doubt it will find such things in the case of Fiji. And basically work with the government to try and change the law and/or change the enforcement scheme so that the US government is more confident that the government is taking steps to afford internationally recognised worker rights.

    HILL: If that doesn’t happen though what could the potential penalties be for the Fiji government from America?

    DRAKE: The penalties could range from nothing at all, nothing happens, to a total revocation of the GSP Terris (?) benefit, that particular outcome however is extremely, extremely rare, and to my knowledge it’s maybe been done once or twice in the history of the GSP regime. And then in between that the US government can revoke benefits say on a couple of particular products or to revoke a percentage of the benefits. But as I say the US government is loathe to make any sort of decision right away.

    HILL: Well you represent the AFL-CIO, the American Labor Federation, the trade union umbrella body, what does your organisation want the American government to do as to trade with Fiji?

    DRAKE: We want our government to put pressure on the Fijian government to basically change its ways. It needs to revoke some of these anti-worker decrees and the government needs to stop some of the repression and intimidation against trade unionists and really make things better for workers in Fiji. That’s what we want, and we would much prefer that things get better for workers than the US have to revoke any portion of the GSP benefits.

    HILL: Well the Fiji interim government says that this is simply going to punish workers in Fiji, they say under the most maximum sort of penalties that could be applied, 15-thousand jobs could go in Fiji if they don’t get this preferential access to the US market. They’re saying 75-thousand Fijians would be affected, they’re saying you’re simply listening to the Fiji trade unionists who have a political axe to grind, and that you don’t really understand the situation in Fiji as it is on the ground, where things are actually fine, they’re trying to help workers, and they’re saying this would actually hurt workers?

    DRAKE: Well the evidence that we have is in contradiction to that, and this isn’t just the AFL-CIO talking, but it’s the International Trade Union Confederation, it’s the ILO, it’s the ACTU, it’s many others who have looked at the situation in Fiji, read the news, met with Fijian workers and said things are really going badly here and the government needs to turn it around in order to give workers their rights back. The worst case scenario, even if the government’s figures are 100 per cent true on the number of jobs and the amount of money lost. That only occurs if the government has absolutely no intention of working with the US government to try and improve things for workers. So it’s really all in the Fijian government’s hands.

    HILL: Well there has been other international organisations trying to work with the interim government in Fiji. The ILO sent a delegation, but of course that was basically expelled from the country more or less as soon as it arrived?

    DRAKE: Exactly and the government of Fiji in its brief that it submitted to the US government nationally bragged about this ILO mission as part of what it was doing for workers, and that was really the same day that the mission was expelled, and we think that right there is very telling about the government’s approach to workers and we really hope that the experience of having to testify and sort of be questioned about it and why did you make the ILO mission leave, will perhaps turn this government around and let it know it really needs to do things differently

  9. frank get this decree out and restore back the real living 1997 constitution .
    fijian cant afford to loose this usa deal .
    khaiyum is misleading you and fijian.
    let the trade union and workers have the rights.

  10. wake up frank and army from this devil khaiyum decree.
    khaiyum is using fijian against fijian.
    read his sunset claue thesis.

  11. My Brother Bainimarama kemuni kerekere please get rid of Khaiyum. To tell you the fact people sill love you,its just because of Khaiyum & Co you and the entire military force is looked down. alu Vinaka ,kerekere kick this falla today and you will see fiji smiling.

  12. It’s about time we started to hear from the political parties on this topic !

    Are they going to come forward with their ideas of how to progress this one for the good of the country and population which they say they want to represent and support ?

    Or are they just going to ignore things and leave it to the union leaders who to date have not offered anything constructive to finding a solution ?

  13. Hay fellas, first we must solve the name “Fijian.” Can we call a horse a bull?
    We must not be bought or sold. Once we allow those not by blood to use our identity, they will take all our heritage, natrual and mineral resource. Bua is sold to China. A taukei for nothing.
    The new constitution will lock us up for ever. We will be strangers in our own country, just like the vulagis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s