2 Aug 2007

At least 10,000 Fiji public sector workers to strike from today

6:39 am on 2 August 2007

Over 10-thousand Fiji government employees belonging to three public sector unions are expected to walk off their jobs this morning.

Fiji TV reports that they include 4,200 members of the Fijian Teachers Association, 5,500 from the Public Employees Union and about 600 from the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers.

Members of the Fijian Teachers association include indigenous teachers across the country, lecturers at the Fiji Institute of Technology and education officers employed by the education ministry as well as two ministerial deputy secretaries.

The 5,500 members of the Public Employees Union work for 44 government ministries and departments covering a broad range of services including water and sewerage, and support services at hospitals and health centres.

The 600 members of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers who will join the strike say they will stay out until a solution to their grievances is found.

Police have warned members of the three unions that they face arrest if they picket in public places without a permit.

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the bulk of the public service will remain at work and government services will continue.