‘Labour laws must be upheld’

Fiji Trades Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony. Picture: FT FILE

States must refrain from using the current COVID-19 crisis to weaken labour rights, said Fiji Trades Union Congress secretary general Felix Anthony.

He made the comments on a virtual regional Global Summit on the Future of Work and COVID-19.

Mr Anthony said COVID-19 has resulted in labour protection flaws.

“This crisis has exposed the weakness of the current labour protection systems in many countries in our region,” he said.

“It has also exposed enormous risk to labour rights.”

He added millions of workers continued to face the unacceptable choice of working at the risk of their health or falling into destitution or starvation.

“It is urgent to ensure all workers regardless of their contractual arrangements or employment status enjoy fundamental workers’ rights,” Mr Anthony said.

“States must refrain from using the current crisis to weaken labour rights.”

Mr Anthony said some states in the Asia-Pacific region were using the coronavirus crisis “as an opportunity crush trade unions”.

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