September 20, 2012
FTUC slams back
13:02 Today (20 September 2012)
Taken from/By: FBC
Report by: Shalveen Chand
Fiji Trade Union Congress says the government has its wires crossed regarding the General System of Preferences (GSP) hearings to examine whether the GSP for exports from Fiji should be withdrawn.
FTUC has reacted after Permanent Secretary for Trade Shaheen Ali alleged FTUC was politically motivated and had put 15,000 jobs on the line.
FTUC general secretary Felix Anthony says the GSP Trade program allows duty free excess into the US imports from developing countries.
Anthony says in Fiji’s case, the hearings would examine whether Fiji is taking steps to afford internationally recognized standards for worker rights.
He adds this comes on the heels of the regime expelling the ILO Contact mission to Fiji to examine Fiji’s compliance with the ILO Core Labour Standards.
He claims these standards are central to the determination by US Trade and the Prime Minister has been wrongly advised.
Anthony says the government imposing various decrees that deny workers the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association has had international trade unions keep an eye on Fiji.
He says these decrees have denied workers the right to challenge unfair treatment at workplace and benefits.
According to Anthony, the government will have only themselves to blame if the GSP decides to stop Fiji exports to the US.