Maritime Union Condemns Fijian Regime

The Maritime Union of Australia has condemned attacks on Fijian unions and announced support for Fijian workers and trade union officials.

Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the MUA and ITF International President, strongly condemned the Fijian Government for its ongoing attacks on the rights of union members and their leaders.

The union is joining other Australian unions in calling on the Australian Government to issue travel advisories that reflect the increasingly unstable political situation in Fiji.

Following his address at the ITF South Pacific Aviation Workshop, held in New Zealand on August 10 and 11, ITF President Paddy Crumlin said the anti-union climate in Fiji is "unacceptable."

The Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree 2011 requires existing unions to re-register under new rules, makes existing collective bargaining agreements void and all but eliminates the right to strike - in any industry that the government may designate at any time.

"The union will be closely watching what happens in Fiji and will consider publicly campaigning against any company that uses the decree to undermine wages, conditions or union rights," said Mr Crumlin.

"In Fiji, not only are workers' rights being attacked but union leaders like Daniel Urai are being detained by the regime for speaking out.  The MUA has a long history of fighting for the rights of union members around the world and we won't be stopping now."

"Australians go to Fiji on holiday to relax but they won't feel relaxed when they know the price that workers have to pay if they want fair wages and conditions.

"We're asking tourists to spend their money in a country where workers' rights are respected."

The Maritime Union of Australia will seek to work with its Australian alliance partners in the Transport Union Federation, the Transport Workers' Union and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, on this campaign and any future action.