Asian Food Worker Frontpage
Farewell to Tim Naivaluwaqa
On 16 January 2006, Timoci (Tim) Naivaluwaqa, General Secretary of the National Union of Hotel, Catering and Tourism Industry Employees (NUHCTIE) in Fiji, died after a week fighting a critical illness. Brother Tim was a great friend of the IUF, a staunch defender of workers and trade unions and a committed supporter of democracy and the rights of all Fijians. His death is a loss not only to Fiji's union movement, but to the union movement of the entire Asia & Pacific region. The message below, from the IUF Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary, Ma Wei Pin, was delivered at Brother Tim's funeral.

20 January 2006

Sisters and Brothers,

It is with a heavy heart that I convey the condolences of members of the IUF Asia & Pacific Regional Organisation and of my own. We all share the deep sorrow of Timoci’s family.

Tim had just led the union, before Christmas, through a difficult struggle and secured a major unprecedented victory, winning a breakthrough in lifting members’ working conditions.

This crowning success was the culmination of a series of smaller successes that Tim had led the union through over the last few years.

When he took over responsibility as General Secretary of the union in 1998, Tim and the IUF worked hard together to rebuild the members’ morale and confidence, the members’ knowledge of unionism in the hotel and tourism industry and how to win basic rights and decent working conditions for members.

We worked together to fight union-busting.

We worked together to build the hotel union into a key and powerful pillar of the Fiji Trade Union Congress.

Tim became a respected leader in the HRCT (Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Tourism) sector work of IUF in the Asia Pacific region.

Like you we feel the great loss of his passing.

I know that Tim would not want to see all his hard work with the hotel union fall apart because of his sad and early departure.

For our part, we will try our best to see that what he has done for the union, all the valuable legacies he has left behind for hotel workers, will not be frittered away. They will be cherished and built upon, in a way that would make him happy and proud that his life, which he devoted to hotel and tourism workers, was worthwhile and meant very much to all those he accepted responsibility for.

Tim, you may rest peacefully, knowing that we will cherish your work and build on it for all the workers and communities that you served and cared for.

Ma Wei Pin
IUF Asia and Pacific Regional Secretary