14 Aug 2014

Fiji unionist steps down but will still advise

12:50 pm on 14 August 2014

A Fiji unionist says he will still act as an advisor to his union despite having to step down formally to comply with Fiji's election laws.

The Electoral Decree and constitution require public office holders, including union officials, to step down from their posts although government ministers are exempt from the rule.

The President of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Daniel Urai, says it is now the appropriate time to resign in order to contest next month's election for the People's Democratic Party.

He says it was always his plan to stand for the party but he had work to complete in the tourism industry, which he says is still unfinished.

"Trade unionism is our life. That's our work. Basically we were required to resign so that we would not be receiving wages or salaries for the work we do. That's the intent. Offering services at no pay to any worker in this country, I'm still open to do that and there's nothing in the law against that."

Daniel Urai says his assistant will act in the union's head role until new elections are held at the end of the year.

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Photo: RNZI / Sally Round