Showing posts from October 13, 2013

The Dilemma of Fiji's Trade Unions

Opinion By Crosbie Walsh
Many years ago theologians debated how many angels could stand on the head of a pin. A similar but far less theoretical argument now arises in Fiji: can anyone stand on the line that separates pro- and anti-Government positions, when a line, by definition, has no width? Or, in relation to the topic of this article, can anyone clearly separate what is a legitimate trade union political activity and what is just straight politics?
I raise this question because we have recently seen claims that the new constitution prohibits the right to strike; because of Felix Anthony's recent threats to take the Sugar and General Workers out on strike (and earlier threats that could have affected the tourist industry); because of Attar Singh's long-standing opposition to the Bainimarama government and his Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU) joining the United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF), a combination of the old political parties, plus the FICTU; and beca…

Girmitiya Video

An informative look at the Girmitya era seen though the eyes of modern commentators including Brij Lal, Vijay Naidu, Ganesh Chand, Surendra Nandan and others.

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

              Going Up

Fuel prices go up and down, but mostly up. Food prices continue to rise. Rent continues to rise, electricity and water rates will rise. The value of assets will go up. The cost of bus and taxi fares will go up. The price of yaqona is going up, while the quality of some is going down.  School fees and charges are going up. Some senior civil servants' salaries are going up. The pile of rubbish in rivers, on roadsides and on beaches is going up. The number of people with NCDs is going up.

The cost of many things will go up.  Yet the low wage earners pay remains the same or going down. An organisation is trying to get low wage earners pay to go up. Yet the businessmen whose bank account went up wants the wage to stay down or go even less.  Home fires and bush fires are rising. The number of people writing to the Editor is rising. Ba rises with another win. Even the sea level is rising!

Our new banknotes have been recognised  as the best in the Asian Middle East …

News and Comments Thursday 17 October 2013

FUEL PRICE INCREASES WERE UNAVOIDABLE according to Commerce Commission Chairman, Dr Mahendra Reddy and have to be seen in the context of big price falls for all products in the last quarter.“ This quarter there is winter in the euro zone and winter drives up demand substantially...[there is also increased ] economic activity in Indonesia in the Asian region as well as the conflict in the Middle East which is affecting supply, so demand and supply have both contributed to the prices of petroleum products”.

Dr Reddy  attributed the Fiji rise to increased world market prices, the strengthening of the US dollar, and an increase in the retail margin for diesel and motor spirit from 2½ to 3%. -- FBC.

Motor Spirit increased by 5% to $2.62 a litre from the old price of $2.49, diesel  from $2.21 to $2.37, and kerosene from $1,76 to $1.90. --  FijiLive.

LAUTOKA TO GET $30 MILLION. New developments taking place in the sugar city under a $30m expansion plan will be announced by Special Administrat…

Can You See and Make Comments?

Sometimes I can see comments on my notebook and at other times I can't.  I experienced this erratic behaviour some months ago and thought it had been fixed.  Now I don't know if it's Blogspot that's causing the problem, or whether it's my notebook, or something in my blog's settings.  If you are having problems seeing comments on a notebook or pc, please let me know at   If the problem persists, I may need to go to Wordpress but I'm reluctant to do this because it could confuse readers and I'm otherwise satisfied with Blogspot. -- Croz

What Support Does Bainimarama Have?

By Crosbie Walsh

It is difficult and probably impossible to gauge the level of support for the Bainimarama government and its prospects of winning the 2014 election.

Its opponents claim they have the support but there's no way of gauging this either. Votes cast in the 2006 election may be cast very differently in 2014.

"Navosavakadua" writing in the relatively well balanced anti-blog Fiji Today, thinks the PM is assured of 27% of the vote due to the "Stockholm syndrome," the condition that causes victims to identify with their captors. "If so", he writes, "what this means is that the highest vote he can hope for is 27% because the rest of us do not feel grateful to our captor." My view would be that with this supposed "bedrock" support —and the support that Navosavakadua does  not acknowledge— the PM should be well over the 50% mark. But we are both guessing.

Surprised that 90% supported FB
What we do have is the occasional informa…

News and Comments Tuesday 15 October 2013

YASAWA VILLAGERS WELCOME CONSTITUTION.  Nabalebale villagers of Viwa Island in Yasawa have welcomed the new Constitution saying that its translation into the iTaukei language will now allow them to find out about their individual rights.  The turaga-ni-koro, Sakaraia Batiuvi, said, “This is the first time for us to be given copies of a constitution and given the opportunity to read it and understand it.”

Copies of the constitution were distributed by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Col. Timoci Natuva, who was on the island to commission the first of the four desalination plant to be installed in remote island communities. -- MOI.

MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD BE POVERTY LINE: BARR. Former Wages Council chairman Fr Kevin Barr applauded the initiative to set a minimum wage rate but believes the national minimum wage rate should be pegged at $4.85 per hour, more than twice the proposed rate, and in line with the poverty line. 

 The new rate "is a good start because it wil…