300 workers at a foreign-owned garment factory in Fiji have signed up to a union and are back at work after being locked out over strike action.
The acting secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Rajeshwar Singh, says after consultation with the management at the Ghim Li Fashion factory in Lautoka, the newly signed-up workers were allowed back in.
He says 800 employees took strike action because they are paid 73 U.S. cents an hour and haven't had a pay rise in nine years.
Mr Singh says of the 60 to 70 garment factories in Fiji, only two or three are unionised.
"One thing the FTUC has decided, it's got to organise some of this people into unions. I think the workers now come to know that if they don't belong to a union, there's no protection for them and they are at the mercy of their employer."
Mr Singh says that under current Labour laws, the union must sign up 50 percent of the workforce and submit that to the owner to voluntarily recognise which is unlikely to happen.
He says the owner of Ghim Li is Singaporean Simon Tay.