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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 16) - Fiji police have
arrested trade unionist James Raman and about 40 workers of the National Union
of Factory and Commercial Workers for taking part in an illegal strike.

The workers of the Goodman Fielder company in Suva walked off
their jobs last Tuesday in protest of the firing of a fellow employee.

The labor minister, Kenneth Zinck, declared the strike illegal,
saying the workers did not conduct a proper secret ballot before taking protest

The Daily Post says striking workers will appear in court today
with Zinck saying the arrests should serve as a warning to all illegal strikers.

The Fiji Trade Union Congress has been angered by the arrests
and says it has yet to see the minister do anything about employers who breach
the Employment Act and collective bargaining agreements.

The TUC’s general secretary, Felix Anthony, says police do not
have a role to play in industrial relations because it would not solve disputes.

May 16, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 

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