INTERNATIONAL UNION GROUP URGES FIJI DIALOGUE

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Regime must reconsider censures of union activity

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 15, 2011) – The International Labour Organisation’s executive director is urging Fiji’s interim government to start talking again to unions and employer organisations.

Guy Ryder’s comment follows the release of the Essential National Industries Decree which will place significant curbs on workers’ ability to strike and take other forms of industrial action once it comes into effect.

Mr Ryder has just finished visiting Fiji with an ILO delegation and says there are too many dynamics there indicating the country’s heading in the wrong direction.

It has been noted that the decree puts Fiji in breach of basic labour conventions and Mr Ryder says the international community will judge it accordingly.

"One of the things we’re trying to say to the government is that reactivating lines of contact with trade unions and indeed with employer organisations who say they would appreciate this too is perhaps a more sensible way to move forward."

Guy Ryder says it doesn’t seem that the current path of both government policy and economic development offers great prospects to achieving the goals the government’s set for itself.

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