Taking action has worked!
The news that the leaders of the Fijian trade union movement are out of jail is a testament to the power of union campaigning and the value of LabourStart.
"Within 24 hours of the launch of LabourStart's online campaign demanding the release of the two Fijian trade union leaders, both have been let out of jail.Â Their release followed the sending of nearly 4,000 messages to Fijian embassies around the world.Â Within the first few hours, we had managed to crash the embassy email servers in France and New Zealand and were no doubt overwhelming them elsewhere..." Eric Lee, LabourStart Read more
Although the immediate threat has passed, we still need to remain vigilant as there is still a lot more to do about workers' rights and democracy in Fiji.
ACT NOW! defend Fiji's trade union leaders
Please take the new Global Union online action to protest about the arrest of Fijian trade union leaders Daniel Urai and Felix Anthony, and encourage everyone else you know to do the same.
Daniel and Felix have been arrested for their role in leading the opposition to the Fijian military dictatorship, but they reject the charge of conspiracy to overthrow the (illegal) government. All they have done is defend ordinary Fijian workers against the military crackdown on collective bargaining and workers' rights - most recently in the so-called Essential Industries Decree.
Fiji has already been suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum, and the European Union has suspended much of its aid programme. Now global unions are beginning to exert pressure on the employers most engaged in the Fijian economy: like Tate & Lyle, who buy all of Fiji's sugar; and the hotels that are central to Fiji's tourist trade. The ILO have warned the regime that its labour laws contravene ILO core conventions, and Embassies and High Commissions in Fiji have registered their concern.
When Daniel Urai was charged with holding an illegal meeting with his members, and brought to trial at the beginning of September, a LabourStart online action saw over 7,000 emails sent to the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General, and the prosecution was suspended for lack of evidence.
Now we need to force the regime to drop the charges and release our colleagues.
Please take the online action, and spread the word.
You can find more about Fiji at www.tuc.org.uk/fiji
Issued: 8 November, 2011