THE biggest culprit is SODELPA leader and coupist SITIVENI RABUKA who not only beat and locked up protesting unionists in 1987 but wanted to turn Fiji's vibrant trade union movement into a carbon copy of Singapore's government-controlled labour organization; the unions
continued to suffer legal adversity, detentions of leaders and an
arson attack on the FTUC head office. The snake also injected racial venom into the movement, with his regime creating the VITI CIVIL SERVANTS' ASSOCIATION to weaken the
Fiji Public Service Association
Fijileaks: We suspect the big fat cat trade union leaders have smelled a rat and are now purring: they know with elections approaching, the regime, like previous governments, will give a pay rise (even if modest) so now they want to be in the act to claim credit
"Singh tells members that strike will be legal if they all walk out"
Although the law is clear that the public sector unions have to enter the negotiation process and go for a strike ballot when there is a deadlock, the unions are now calling on the workers to just walk off their jobs.
They can only go on strike if more than 50% of the members agree to walk out of their jobs.
The Confederation of Public Sector Unions which is made of the Fiji Public Service Association, Fiji Teachers Union, Fijian Teachers Association and Fiji Nursing Association, has 14,000 members.
The total number of civil servants is more than 28,000.
When asked by one of the members in the union rally at FTA Hall on what they will do if they do not get their way in the Employment Tribunal, FTU General Secretary Agni Deo Singh said everyone can just walk off their jobs.
170 members attended the rally in Suva on Tuesday.
The Confederation of Public Sector Unions says that they will challenge the decision made by the Registrar of Trade Unions that they cannot have the strike ballot until they exhaust all the negotiation processes with the government.
General Secretary Rajeshwar Singh says their matter will be heard by the Employment Tribunal on the 4th of October.
They wanted to have the strike ballot from this Tuesday to the 8th of October.
Fijivillage has been informed that the unions were planning to time the strike during the external exams for the students.
Update: Fiji Public Service Association files six motions with the Employment Tribunal
"I want 2,500 nurses to walk out of their jobs "- Nasorovakawalu
She told the union rally at the FTA Hall in Suva that she is willing to go to jail only if they get the mandate and more than 2,000 nurses walk out of the hospitals and other health facilities.
She also proposed that they should also get an open petition to get the sympathy of the public.
Under the law, the strike can only be legal after the negotiation process ends in a deadlock and the unions get a legitimate strike ballot where more than 50% of the members agree to go on strike.
Fijileaks: It is over two years and we are still waiting for comments:
It is thought to be the property of one of the FTU Officials.
Executed Affidavit in opposition in the Employment Relations Tribunal –
Miscellaneous Application NO 30/2009 of 17/09/09.
Mr. Agni Deo Singh has used his father’s name as Karam Singh.
1999 PSC Civil List page 449 refers –H/T ED4C DOB 27/04/56 Date Joined 1/1/78
The birth certificate P O number 38665 registration number 348225 refers date registration as 12/10/78.
(This clearly reflects that his birth was registered after 22 years which is pretty suspicious. One wonders as to how he completed his secondary education without Birth certificate); Possible Scenario would be that he has tampered with his birth date.
Scrutiny of his Certificate of Marriage reveals:
1. Marriage Date 8th December, 1978.
2. Registered with Registrar Generals Office on 29/04/96.
His marriage has been registered after 18 years. Once again a detailed investigation must be carried out into his obtaining Birth certificate and marriage certificate together with his usage of different father's names.
Has purchased a piece of Land for his brother and father's name is stated as Prithipal Singh. $55,000.00 FTU cheque was issued for the purchase.
Auditors recorded a discrepancy of $65,000.00 in 2005 report.
Mrs. Sadhna Devi Singh wife - has a bank balance of $610,000.00
Mr. Agni Deo Singh has a balance of F$340,000.00
Accounts held at ANZ.
Have properties in Namadi Heights, Laucala Beach, Amar Singh Street, Nausori, Namaka Nadi, Rakiraki and Melbourne and Sydney.
Mr. Singh was trying to transfer the funds abroad, however was caught. What action has serious fraud taken?
Had purchased a vehicle from Nivis Motors for $150,000.00.
Actual purchase price being $80,000.00 so has shifted $70,000.00 to his personal use fraudulently.
Retirement Service payments (30yrs)
2005 - $43,730.00
2007 - $87,420.00
This ratio of payment for 30 year service at $1,200.00 is pretty high and has to be treated as fraud. The case refers to willful intention to defraud and gain financially.
Mr Agni Deo Singh is paid F$50.00 per hour by FNU as being the workers representative on the FNU Council.
Mahendra Chaudhry: FIERY trade unionist to Bainimarama's treasonist FINANCE MINISTER. FELIX ANTHONY, who had succeeded Chaudhry as FTUC general secretary was elected, post 2006 coup, as a Board Member of Fiji Telecom and the Fiji National Provident Fund
NURSING SORE WOUNDS: This is not the first time the nurses have threatened to go on strike. In December 1999, when Chaudhry was Prime Minister, the nurses threatened to go on strike, with Chaudhry pleading from China where he was on a week-long state visit
"There is no need for any strike. We understand and sympathize with their problems. I know they are one of the categories of government workers who need immediate attention.''
"How much longer are the nurses going to wait?''
Fiji Nurses Association President. Elina Dulakiverata, asked in 1999
Mr. Chaudhry said the Government understood the problems nurses faced and was looking at ways to resolve them.
"There is no need for any strike,'' Mr. Chaudhry said yesterday from Beijing, where he is on a week-long state visit.
"We understand and sympathize with their problems.
"I know they are one of the categories of government workers who need immediate attention.''
Mr. Chaudhry said a sub-committee had been formed to look into their grievances.
The Fiji Nurses Association is expected to hand in its notice of a trade dispute to the Ministry of Labour today or tomorrow.
President Elina Dulakiverata said a nationwide strike was inevitable because the ministry had done nothing to address their grievances.
"Our graduates start off on a $9,000 salary scale and after working for 20 to 25 years they retire with $11,000,'' she said.
(NOTE: F$ 1.978 = US$ 1.00 on December 15, 1999)
"We want to have our nurses start at $13,000 and then take the increment from there.''
Nurses are expected to walk out 28 days after filing a trade dispute.
One of the first promises made by Health Minister Doctor Isimeli Cokanasiga when he took up office was to review nurses' pay.
In response to Mr. Chaudhry's comments, Ms. Dulakiverata said nurses had waited long enough.
"How much longer are the nurses going to wait?'' she asked.
In 2000, a socialist workers campaign website berated Chaudhry over the nurses strike. They had gone on strike on May 12, a week before the Speight coup:
Faced with chronic understaffing and a flight of nurses overseas, the country's 1,300 nurses had demanded an annual starting salary of F$13,000 (US$6,711), an increase of F$4,000. After four months of failed negotiations between their union leaders and the Chaudhry government, the nurses walked out on strike on May 12.
Chaudhry and his ministers slandered the strikers as being part of a politically-orchestrated move by Rabuka's Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT) party to bring the government to its knees. The government declared the strike illegal and organised strikebreakers. After two-and-a-half days the nurses returned to work with only a small pay increase.
Behind these attacks on the working class lay the commitment of the “People's Coalition” to implement the policies laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board in October 1998.
In its review of the Fijian economy, the IMF noted a sharp fall in investment rates, from 25 percent during 1980-85 (before Rabuka's 1987 coup) to less than 13 percent in recent years. It criticised Rabuka's government for making “only limited headway on key structural issues that are hampering investment” and declared that “decisive action on many fronts could no longer be postponed”.
Among the IMF's key “reform” prescriptions were “wage restraint,” the acceleration of privatisation, complete financial and economic deregulation and “the need to curtail discretionary and unproductive spending and to reduce the public sector wage bill”.
These prescriptions formed the basis of the Chaudhry government's program"
And when he became Bainimarama's Interim Finance Minister:
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 13, 2007
The Fiji Nurses Association is saddened by Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry['s] stance in the recent dispute with the trade unions. Association general secretary Kuini Lutua said Chaudhry should have supported the nurses cause sighting (sic) his long years of involvement with the trade union movement. She said it was rather visible that Chaudhry has otherwise taken the road for political gain
"That's normal, you break the law, you get arrested"
Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, August 2007
Striking nurses who were detained at the Nasova Police Academy yesterday have been released. The nurses were holding up placards when police and soldiers rounded them up.
Criminal Investigations Department director Aisea Navakamocea confirmed police had warned them before they were released.
The nurses were interviewed but no charges were laid.
The nurses are reported to have returned to the Fiji Nursing Association headquarters to continue protesting as they end the 14th day of their strike today.
The Fiji Nurses Association says that nurses will stand firm and will not be moved by statements made by Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Fiji Nursing Association, General Secretary Kuini Lutua, who was one of those arrested, declared the nurses are mothers of the country and they will fight to the end.
Still, Lutua says they are looking forward to continue negotiations in trying to solve the impasse.
This is the longest ever strike action to [be] conducted by an essential services union in Fiji.
The following is from the Fiji Times.
Protesters walk free
TWENTY Fiji Nursing Association members were released late yesterday after being taken in for questioning by police for protesting outside Government Buildings where a Cabinet meeting was in progress.
Shortly before midday, security in and around Government Buildings was increased as reports filtered in of a protest there by nurses.
FNA members arrived in pairs with placards and stood across Gladstone Road from Government Buildings, with police and army personnel facing them.
The striking nurses were spread out along Gladstone Road in groups of two and silently held up their placards in the hope Cabinet ministers would see them.
FNA general secretary Kuini Lutua, who was part of the group, said the protesters wanted to show the interim Government that it needed to make a decision soon regarding their grievances.
"They have refused to meet us so we have come down now to show them that these are the messages that we want them to see," she said.
"We need them to make a decision for this country; make a decision for the nurses of this country.
"Nurses are public servants and if they care for this nation, they must care for the workers of this country."
She said they were abiding by the Public Order Act by standing in pairs but were ready to be taken in by police.
"We hope they will see our message; that they will see what we're trying to say because they have refused to talk to us."
The protesters were taken to the Police Academy where they were questioned by a team of officers.
Commissioner of Police Commodore Esala Teleni said last night the FNA members were not charged but their statements were taken by the investigators before they were warned.
"They were only warned verbally but we will keep the file open," he said.
"We understand that they're standing in small groups and holding placards but their motive is very clear."
Commodore Teleni said he felt his officers acted very well in dealing with the protesters.
"We were well aware of their plans to protest and when we were alerted by our intelligence unit, I personally sent a team led by a senior officer to convince them not to come to Government Buildings.
"I was briefed by the senior officer who said that he had warned them (against protesting at Government Buildings). They were verbally warned that it (protest) would be illegal"
Commodore Teleni said all along when the unions were planning to go on strike, police had been allowing that process to go through provided it was done within the ambit of the law.
He said he had personally made a plea in the media to those intending to go on strike and to all the people of Fiji to remain calm but despite that, the FNA members went ahead with their protest.
"But this is a warning and reminder to everyone that we will ensure that people are not intimidated or live in fear."
Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the protesting FNA members should have expected to be arrested by police.
"That's normal, you break the law, you get arrested," he said.