FIJI REGIME: DECREE DOESN’T HARM WORKERS’ RIGHTS

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Workers ‘will not be exploited’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 11, 2011) – Fiji’s interim attorney general says a new employment decree doesn’t undermine workers rights.

The Essential National Industries Decree bans strikes and other actions such as assembly without a permit for designated businesses in industries declared vital to Fiji’s economic success.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says tourism and sugar are two of the industries covered by the decree and the interim Prime Minister will decide which others to include.

International organisations are describing the decree as a direct attack on workers and their unions but Mr Sayed Khaiyum says that’s not the case.

"This decree whilst it may for example change the relationship of unions, trade unions officially in terms of their ability to negotiate as a body with the employers, will not in any way mean that the workers will be exploited."

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says today’s meeting with the International Labour Organisation over the decree was very productive.

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