Statement from ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

The ACTU utterly condemns the arbitrary detention of working people’s representatives in our Pacific neighbour Fiji.

The Fijian government has continued an outrageous attack on working people, arresting the Secretary General of the Fijian Trade Union Congress, after this week also arresting the general secretaries of the Fijian Teachers Association and Fiji nurses’ union and the Lautoka industrial officer of the National Union of Workers.

The Secretary was arrested today during a tripartite meeting, a betrayal of the trust placed in the system by Fijian unionists.

This is a bare-faced attack on the rights of working people the political freedom of their representatives but is unfortunately not unprecedented in Fiji.

The ACTU stands with Fijian working people and their unions – all working people have the right of representation and the use of the mechanisms of government to silence political dissent is an affront to all democratic nations.

We call on the Fijian government to release all political prisoners and cease harassment and detention of union leaders.