Read their official statement here.
BY: ROWAN CALLICK ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR
From: The Australian November 18, 2011 12:27PM
AUSTRALIA'S unions and bosses on Thursday formed a rare alliance to call on Fiji's military ruler Frank Bainimarama "to respect international labour standards governing union and employer rights."
The Fiji government recently imposed an Essential National Industries Decree which covers a range of industries including airlines such as Air Pacific owned 46 per cent by Qantas, 51 per cent by the Fiji government bans industrial action, and precludes unions from representing workers in collective bargaining.
It detained for a week Felix Anthony, the general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, before releasing him a week ago.
Ged Kearney, the president of the ACTU, and Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, released a joint statement calling on the Fiji government " to take immediate steps to restore workplace rights."
They said that "both the ACTU and ACCI have been increasingly concerned at the arbitrary detention, arrest and harassment of senior trade union figures in Fiji for exercising civil and labour rights which are norms of behaviour in Australia, and recognised internationally."
Mr Anderson, who is the employers' spokesman on the International Labour Organisation's Committee on Freedom of Association, said the ILO was asking the Fiji government to accept a mission to discuss these "flagrant breaches, which taint the good name and reputation of this beautiful country" and to compensate victims of "arbitrary arrest, detention, harassment and intimidation."
The ACTU is also launching a campaign to persuade Australians as they plan their Christmas holidays, to boycott Fiji.
And Ms Kearney said that she wants Australians to stop buying products from Fiji, including clothes.