22 Jul 2005

International trade union calls for withdrawal of Fiji's Reconciliation Bill

10:20 am on 22 July 2005

An International trade union with 20-million members worldwide has called on the Fiji government to withdraw its Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Fiji Times reports that the call has come from the International Federation of Chemical, Mine, Energy and General Workers Union.

The Federation has told the Qarase government it is immensely concerned and closely monitoring the situation in Fiji.

In a letter to Mr Qarase, the Federation's general secretary, Fred Higgs, has described the Bill as "the most divisive piece of legislation ever introduced by the government."

Mr Higgs says they are convinced the Bill would set a dangerous precedent and encourage future violations of the rule of law, human rights and democracy.

He says the Federation is mindful that once passed the Bill would violate Fiji's international obligations under the Cotonou Agreement on aid and trade with the European Union, on the rule of law, good governance and human rights.