The National Federation Party will alert the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) if officers of the Fiji Police Force do not immediately stop harassment and intimidation of executives of Public Sector Unions following their decision to hold a secret ballot to seek mandate for strike action following Government’s unilateral action to put civil servants on contracted employment.
The NFP has viewed correspondence from the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA) to Public Services International (PSI) informing PSI that on Thursday 5th October, two of its Union Executives were interviewed by Police and emails and newsletters were confiscated. Furthermore, one of the Executives was warned not to talk to a Union Organiser.
We have also been informed by Trade Unionists and Union staff members who do not represent public sector employees that they have received calls from police seeking information from them on the proposed strike ballot.
The questioning by police is harassment and intimidation of Union Executives. This action is in gross violation and complete disregard of the dispute resolution machinery since a dispute on the matter is now before the Employment Relations Tribunal as widely reported by the media last Saturday.
The Commissioner of Police should reveal whether or not police acted on a complaint filed by Government or any other party.
The Attorney General and Minister for Civil Service as well as the Minister for Defence should immediately ask the Police Commissioner to tell his officers not to get involved in this dispute.
We are not a Police State. Such actions do not augur well for Fiji’s bid to become a member of UNHRC.
Professor Biman Prasad
Attached: FPSA letter to PSI