Jul 23, 2008

Taxpayers and Workers of Fiji speak

A sampling of the letters that the daily papers are receiving of late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Allow me to also include this letter which I cant find online for you , but it was from Maika Namudu
who is of course the General secretary of the FIJIAN TEACHERS ASOCIATION.

FTUC report

I REFER to the statement by Felix Anthony, the secretary of the Fiji Trade Union Congress, on the FTUC's 2008 annual report.

The report stated: "The military takeover in 2006 met little resistance apart from non-government organisations, civil society groups, and the trade union movement.''

The trade union movement comprises 30,000 union members 18,000 members of FICTU and 12,000 members of FTUC.

Mr Anthony would be most naive to regard 30,000 as little because such workers are responsible for about 210,000 lives i.e seven family members per worker or about 25 per cent of the population.

The fact that the retirement age has been restored at 60 years by the High Court on behalf of some 20,000 workers suggests the resistance to the coup was not "little'' as reported.

Does the civil society include the people in the villages, the districts and the provinces?

Well, more than 50 per cent of these groups have voted against the NCBBF and its products in their provincial councils. Thus, the NCBBF, being a coup product, has been outvoted by more than 50 per cent of the indigenous population. That is not "little".

The various "human rights'' bodies are all part of civil society groups. Over 90 per cent of them oppose the takeover. That is not a "little resistance'' by any standard.

In essence therefore, what Mr Anthony needs to realise is that NGOs, civil society groups and trade unions make up well over 60 per cent of the population. Their resistance is therefore not "little".

Fiji is aware that the International Labour Organisation now recognises two workers' union authorities in Fiji FICTU and FTUC.

Perhaps the ILO is more aware of the fact that reports by the responsible groups have not been balanced. Thus the need for two union bodies so that a report from one group provides a counter-balance to the report of the other.

Then there are of course the UN groups and diplomatic offices in the country that give credence to such annual reports.

It might also be worth noting there is a spirit of general humility, calm and restraint throughout Fiji today. This is the result of the prayers of the righteous who have the interest of the people at heart.

This is the same spirit present in Fiji when the first missionaries arrived in 1835 and which led to the cannibals laying down their arms and their heathen practices.

The "little" resistance could be the result of spiritual forces at play - not because the people of Fiji approve of the coup.

Maika Namudu
General secretary