Fiji: Public sector strikes grow amid death threats and intimidation

A week long strike by 1400 nurses in Fiji expanded on Thursday as 1000 teachers and 300 public works, water and sewerage workers also began strike action.

Submitted by Anarchia on August 3, 2007

They are demanding the reversal of a 5% pay cut and the changing of the retirement age from 60 to 55, and an additional 10% pay rise. The pay cut and change in retirement age were announced shortly after the military government took power in a coup last December. Earlier this week the military and police detained union leader Taniela Tabu, during which time they made deaths threats against him and demanded he pass on death threats to two other union leaders upon his release on Wednesday night.

The teacher's strike began with a 1000 person sit-in at the teachers union headquarters, with songs, speeches and kava. Meanwhile, Fijian police went to schools and hospitals in an attempt to intimidate strikers.

The Fijian government is still considering declaring the nurses strike illegal, in which case it would be able to fire all 1400 nurses for not attending work for 7 days.

The strikes are continuing indefinitely.