3 Feb 2014

Charges against Fiji unionists to be dropped

6:09 pm on 3 February 2014

Fiji's director of Public Prosecutions has decided to withdraw unlawful strike charges against six unionists allegedly involved in a strike at Nadi's Sheraton hotels on New Year's eve.

The unionists, including the president of the Fiji Trade Union Council, Daniel Urai, were arrested several days after the labour minister, Jone Usamate, declared the strike illegal.

An interim settlement had been reached on the day of the stoppage and according to the Fiji Sun, the Sheraton management agreed to pay the workers on strike.

Christopher Pryde says he has reviewed the charges and the evidence and is satisfied that no offence was committed.

He says a withdrawal of charges will be filed when the matter is next called to court, which is set down for March the 17th.

Last week, New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions said it was supporting a bid by the International Trade Union Confederation for a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into labour rights in Fiji over the regime's response to the Sheraton strike.