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Union alerts ILO

Shayal Devi
Sunday, January 28, 2018

THE International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) yesterday wrote to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) director general regarding unionist, Felix Anthony, being questioned by police this week.

It is believed Mr Anthony, who is the national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, was questioned about comments he made during the solidarity march for Air Terminal Services (ATS) workers.

In a statement, the ITF said Mr Anthony was interrogated by police on consecutive days on January 24 and 25.

"It is thought the police took action over comments Mr Anthony made at a rally for 250 airport workers who were locked-out for a month by government-owned Air Terminal Services (ATS) at Nadi International Airport, but last week won the right to return to work," the statement said.

"The staff had been prevented from working for attending a meeting to discuss concerns of mismanagement, appalling conditions, sexual harassment and an 11-year pay freeze."

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said this looked like a process of deliberate intimidation aimed at Mr Anthony and all the workers who stood up for their rights over the ATS saga.

"We had no choice but to alert the ILO and now the Government in Fiji must act and stop this unacceptable behaviour," he said.

Earlier this week, police spokesperson Ana Naisoro had confirmed Mr Anthony was taken in for questioning.

"He was taken in for questioning and released for the conduct of the march and the events that occurred afterwards," Ms Naisoro had said. "We will not be making any further comments and the progress of the case will be relayed directly to Mr Anthony."

When contacted yesterday, Labour Minister Jone Usamate said he had not seen the statement and thus, could not comment. The statement was electronically mailed (emailed) to him but no comment was received when this edition went to press.

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