19 September, 2012A high-level mission of the International Labour Organization (ILO) investigating the effects of last year’s regressive labour reform has today been ordered to leave the country by the government.
The fact-finding mission arrived on Sunday, 16 September with the government of interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s prior agreement. Fundamental labour rights have been greatly curtailed by the Essential Services Decree, the archaic legislation effectively bans all industrial actions, voids existing collective agreements, curbs overtime pay, and cancels wage adjustments and certain work terms in designated industries. It was introduced as part of escalating union and civil society repression, arrests of key trade union leaders and other legislative changes. See a previous report from IndustriALL here: http://www.industriall-union.org/goldminers-in-fiji-call-for-union-rights
The ILO delegation held meetings with trade unions on Monday in capital Suva, but scheduled Monday meetings with government were cancelled by the regime. The delegation received a written order this morning to immediately stop its work and to leave the country on this evening’s flight to Hong Kong.
The delegation was led by Judge Abdul Koroma of the International Court of Justice, member of the ILO Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Other members of the mission were Karen Curtis Deputy Director of the International Labour Standards Department, and Christine Bader Officer of the International Standards Department.
IndustriALLGlobal Union joins the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) in condemning the decision to expel the ILO Mission and in calling on the regime to behave responsibly.