26 Aug 2002

Trade Union of Congress says new umbrella union group will fail in representing workers rights

3:47 pm on 26 August 2002

The General Secretary of the Fiji Trade Union of Congress says that the fifteen break away unions will fail in representing the workers of the country.

Felix Anthony, who is also a Labour Party appointed Senator, says that the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions is illegal as it did not seek the mandate of its members to leave the TUC.

The Council is led by Maika Namudu of the Fijian Teachers Association and the general secretary is Attar Singh of the Fiji Aviation Workers Association.

Mr Namudu said the formation of the new umbrella group is in response to dissatisfaction with the TUC which the unions see as too closely linked with Labour.

Felix Anthony says such comments are naive as politics will always affect the rights of workers.

"The TUC of course is not dependent on any political party. The TUC has got an agenda of it's own and it is to look after the welfare of the workers of this country and it will do just that. I don't think anybody can be as naive as to say well we will not get involved in politics. Politics affects the workers of this country and anything that affects the workers of this country is our business"

Felix Anthony from Fiji's Trade Union of Councils.