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Union leader due to begin trial on Friday, September 2 - please act quickly!

Recently, Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) President Daniel Urai was arrested for holding an illegal meeting and his trial is due to start on September 2, 2011. On behalf of CUPE members and staff, National President Paul Moist sent a letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, urging him to immediately drop all charges against Mr. Urai and his colleague Mr. Dinesh Goundar, an organizer with the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industries Employees (NUHCTIE).

Please take a moment to join thousands of other trade unionists from around the world and send your message of protest. Demand the withdrawal of the case against Mr. Urai and tell the government that the people of Fiji should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of association without interference from the State.

Leaders and activists of the FTUC have been assaulted or detained on several occasions. In February, Felix Anthony, general secretary of the FTUC was taken from home by three uniformed military officers and subjected to threats. His family, including his children, was also threatened.

According to the FTUC, a new government decree issued on July 29 will effectively abolish all trade unions in Fiji. Supporters are asking the government to withdraw all anti-union laws, starting with Decree 35 of 2011 on Essential National Industries (Employment), which contravenes the ILO Conventions and restricts trade union activity.

Fiji has been under a military dictatorship since 2006 and as a result the country is suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum.

Take action now:

Send a message of protest to Fiji’s Attorney General, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Labour.

For more information:

Read Fiji: defending workers’ rights from Public Services International (PSI)