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Govt Will Not Condone Anything Illegal, Says Bainimarama

Government will not condone anything illegal, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says. Mr Bainimarama said that the strike was illegal and that the proposed march of protest this Saturday would not
10 Jan 2018 11:35
Govt Will Not Condone Anything Illegal, Says Bainimarama

Government will not condone anything illegal, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says.

Mr Bainimarama said that the strike was illegal and that the proposed march of protest this Saturday would not achieve anything.

“Seriously what is the purpose of the march? Is it to highlight their grievances, the grievances of COLA and backpay? You will have heard from the Labour and Industrial Relations Minister who said that that’s been handled so nothing’s going to change. If it’s to do with the people who are on strike, nothing is going to change.”

He called on the march organisers to refrain from misleading the striking workers, adding that their actions will not hurt anyone except themselves.

“I presume the purpose of the march put together by these politicians and the unionists is to just belittle the work that’s been done by the management. And that’s really unfair of them because the management is doing something that is good for the workers and also for the nation,” he said.

“If the purpose of the march is to try and belittle the Government, that is also not going to happen because we will continue as normal and nothing is going to change. But it will definitely show the cheap politicians that I have been talking about, and the cheap unionists who have been taking advantage of these people.”

Mr Bainimarama said the workers needed to realise now that returning to work was of top  priority.

“The workers need to realise that when the march finishes they’ll still be without a job, they’ll still be sitting out there and nothing’s going to change. It will only change when they go back to work so that their families can get the benefits of someone who is employed.”

“The last couple of weeks they’ve been fronting up to the Fiji Times with photos of their kids saying ‘this is my kid’. I’ve been working here for so long.”

“We can feel for them.

“That’s all well and done but the bottom line is that they should go back to work because that’s how this thing started when they left work illegally.

“I’m not going to endorse that. The people of Fiji are watching me to make sure I do the right thing. So I’m not going to endorse anything illegal.”

The strike enters its 25th day today with more than 30 returning to work after signing letters admitting their mistake in walking off their jobs more than three weeks ago.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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