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Fiji: police intervene in collective bargaining

A month ago, the Fijian military dictatorship expelled a mission from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which included a member of the International Court of Justice because the regime rejected the mission's terms of reference: investigating Fiji's breaches of the fundamental human rights of freedom of association and free collective bargaining.

Two weeks ago, the Fijian military dictatorship angrily rebutted well-substantiated union claims to the US Congress that the regime was breaching those fundamental human rights in contravention of the US-Fiji free trade agreement.

And then on Friday, the Fijian police burst in on an hour-old collective bargaining negotiation between the unions and management at the Pacific Fish Company (PAFCO) and insisted that the negotiations could only continue if the police sat in on them.

In that one act, the Fijian regime undermined and invalidated their case against the ILO and their statements to the US Congressional hearings. It is behaviour like this that has seen Fiji suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacifici Islands Forum and has led the European Union to suspend aid payments.

The Fijian regime shows no respect for international human rights, no respect for its own people, and no respect for the international community.

Owen Tudor

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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