Friday, 31 January 2014

Six arrested Fijian union leaders need your help

Fijian union leaders arrested after a strike at Starwood hotels

Fiji is governed by a harsh military dictatorship which maintains a permanent crackdown on civil, political and trade union rights. Six leaders of the island’s hotel workers union now face trial on criminal charges – while their union is negotiating with the employer!

On January 9, six union leaders from the National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries were arrested and charged as a result of what the government claims to have been an "unlawful strike" that took place on New Year's Eve at Sheraton Fiji Resort and Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa (owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.) at Narewa village, Fiji. Workers in fact held a spontaneous protest against the unilateral removal of their staff benefits.

The military government declared the strike illegal and arrested the leadership of the union. Now they are out of jail but harsh bail conditions prevent them from exercising their role and their rights as union leaders.

Although it is believed Starwood played no direct role in their imprisonment, the Company was responsible for workers taking action as a result of management's unilateral withdrawal of workers' benefits.

CLICK HERE to urge Starwood management to use their influence to persuade the authorities to drop the case against union leaders.

More from the IUF here

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