Police have denied permit application for the Fiji Trades Union Congress to march and hold a rally in Suva on 1st May.
FTUC National Secretary, Felix Anthony says no written reason was given.
Anthony says the reason given verbally was that there was concern about the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says they do not believe this excuse as sports and other recreational activities continue in the country.
Anthony claims this is purely a political decision and this is the sixth occasion where a permit to march has been denied.
He says they condemn this decision to deny workers their fundamental right to assembly and to protest.
Anthony says the FTUC has for the last 6 years campaigned: for a decent minimum wage of $4.00; against the imposition of individual contracts on civil servants and workers in government owned entities; government’s failure to honor an agreement to review labour laws; workers’ right to strike; in support of ATS workers’ plight and Fiji Airways employees; and in support of Vatukoula striking workers since 1991.
He says the FTUC will meet shortly to decide on the next course of action and consider how to pursue its concerns and will do so without giving up.
In response to Anthony’s statement and claims that the government is behind the decision, Police say the decision has been made by the Divisional Police Commander Southern Division, Acting Senior Superintendent of Police Viliame Komairasea. Police will not make any further comments.
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