Not Published by the Fiji Media,So published Here

 Regime abandons workers again;
Union power is the answer.

The poorest of our workers have once again been denied long awaited and well deserved wage increase by an illegitimate regime.

This regime has done so the third time in four years, says the outgoing Chairman of the Wages Council, Fr Kevin Barr who has reportedly resigned over the Labour Minister's refusal to adopt the recommendations of the wages councils and for acting unilaterally.

The Labour Minister must realize that by bowing to the pressure from the rich and powerful employers he has not only abandoned  around 60% of our workers who live below the poverty line, he has also abandoned the core purpose of his ministry of fairness and justice in the workplace.  

The workers  of Fiji have received nothing but third grade treatment from this regime from the day it usurped power in 2006. 

There is little doubt that this regime it is not only pro rich but blatantly anti poor. It has also attacked unionised workers continuously by issuing several decrees that violate worker and trade union rights on a daily basis. And it continues shamelessly with these anti worker and anti union  policies despite international condemnation.

Let it be known that no country can progress by treating its workers with such contempt. 

The time has come for all workers to join trade unions so that we all can together fight for what is ours- a decent wage for a decent life.

Let us all unite in the pursuit of fairness and justice for the working families and show that we have the ability to fight and take our fair share.

Attar Singh,
General Secretary,


Anonymous said…
and why wouldn't it be published by the local media? isn't this the regime you have promoted, isn't this the level of media suppression you supported and applaud? The fact that the media in Fiji is still is so craven and compliantto this regime is entirely because of the support you have provided. You weren't happy with the state of the media prior to this regime, and sat while there were police in newsrooms, you appear now to still be unhappy when they even censore themselves on publishing even reports from overseas. You have been determined to protect this regime from any scrutiny or investigative journalism 'as being too negative'.
Proud fijian said…
As usual the Trade Unionist did not mention the tax cuts that the low income received recently. By labeling this government as anti-poor and in the same breath call for all workers to join trade unions shows the true motivation of this statement.

These were the same trade unionists who were calling on Australian tourists not to come to Fiji and attempting to sabotage Australian flights to Fiji.

Fijian workers do need an increase in wages but a statement from trade unionists calling for increased membership now with the Father Barr resignation is opportunistic.
Fred said…
What are these union leaders wince about? Don't they know that Fiji workers are doing much better than workers in highly developed economies. In Spain we see unemployment rates of 30%. We should respect our government's efforts to make Fiji fit for the international competition ahead of us.
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie, thanks for publishing Attar Singh's statement. At the time of writing it doesn't seem to appear on any other blog so publishing here gives a valuable insight into labour representatives' side of the story. Similarly your publication of Father Barr's decision and reasons for resigning.

Proud Fijian's commented about the recent tax cuts: Taken in the context of the tax threshold being $16,500pa, the tax cuts didn't benefit most income earners in Fiji.

This government was indeed the one which raised the threshold from $7,000 - $15,000 a couple of years ago, however even $7,000 pa, let alone $15,000 pa, is beyond the income of a significant number of workers. And, as Proud Fijian already knows, what FRCA gave to the poor with one hand they took away with the other since VAT was raised at the same time.

Reallocating two thirds of the military budget to increased hourly wages for civilians and projects aimed at job creation would appear to solve two problems face by Fiji.
Anonymous said…
the proud fijian also didn't mention the devaluation. A bit pointless getting a tax cut if you are out of work.
kai Labasa said…
Father Kevin Barr's statement has been well published in local media. It just may be that our so called union leaders need to buy local news papers and read.

It is unfair on the part of Attar Singh and likes of him to make a mountain out of a mole. So what if they did not print Attar's letter? The main message has gone out.
True leader said…
Spoken like a true leader Attar. You are a courageous, principled and intelligent man. Fiji needs people like you. Ignore regime apologists like kai labasa. We the people are behind you.

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