Korean unions denounce trade union rights repression in Fiji, warn military regime of growing protests

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On 25 November Korean trade unions held a protest action and press conference outside the Honorary Consulate General of Fiji in Seoul. The action was held by representatives from the IUF-affiliated Korean Federation of Private Service Workers’ Unions (KFSU) demonstrated together with representatives from Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) and its affiliates, including the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU), the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU), the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU), the Korean Public & Social Services and the Transportation Workers’ Union (KPTU).

The demonstration was in response to the Resolution on Fiji adopted by the 12th IUF-A/P Regional Conference in Bali on 18-20 October and was held in conjunction with the ITUC campaign in Fiji. KFSU initiated the action as a concrete step in implementing the IUF-A/P resolution on Fiji.

The unions that joined the protest in Seoul signed a letter to Fiji Government and the Fijian Ambassador in Japan whose mission covers Japan, Korea, Russia and the Philippines. In this letter, the unions stated that:

…the recent arrest of Daniel Urai, the National President of Fiji Trade Union Congress (FTUC) and Felix Anthony, the National Secretary of the organization is a clear demonstration of the repressive and arbitrary power that Public Emergency Regulations (PER) give the police and others in authority and a clear show of gross abuse of these power. Moreover, the promulgation of draconian Decrees such as Essential National Industries Decrees by the Fiji authorities that impact directly and negatively on the democratic rights, interests and the very existence of trade unions in Fiji.

Fiji Protest

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JEONG Hye-Kyeong, Vice President of KCTU, made a speech, expressing her boundless solidarity with FTUC and all Fijian workers
JEONG Hye-Kyeong, Vice President of KCTU, made a speech, expressing her boundless solidarity to FTUC representing Fijian Workers and denounced Fiji military regime’s repression of trade union activities. Jeong Hye-Kyeong also warned the regime that it faces more pressure around the world if human and trade union rights are not respected and recalled that the Korean military regime was overthrown by people’s power.

LEE Kyeong-Ok, General labor Secretary of KFSU, read a press statement conveying deep concern that the entire Fijian trade union movement is now facing the most serious attack ever on its existence, and the most basic labour and union rights of all Fijian workers are under attack. Lee Kyeong-Ok urged the Fiji government to immediately drop all charges against FTUC leaders and unionists and guarantee trade union rights.

Fiji Protest

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LEE Kyeong-Ok, General Secretary of KFSU, read a press statement denouncing the military regime’s suppression of trade union rights in Fiji
Participating unions delivered the press statement and protest letters to Honorary Consulate General in Fiji, followed by a public demonstration. The unions called for an end to the repression and harassment of trade unionists, and an end to the prohibition on union meetings, the immediate dropping of charges against FTUC President Daniel Urai, General Secretary Felix Anthony and Nitin Goundar, the revocation of the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree and restoration of human rights and trade union rights immediately, to fulfill its international obligations as a member of ILO and as a signatory to its Conventions.

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