Following up on yesterday's story about striking nurses in Fiji, it seems their action is gaining strong support from many sectors, including unionists and women's organizations.
Fiji Women's Rights Movement executive director, Virisila Buadromo in a statement,
“We would like to show our solidarity with these brave women, who are underpaid and undervalued, yet provide an invaluable service for Fiji’s people.”
The Fiji Trades Union Congress, a local non government organisation and an international trade union body expressed its support for the Fiji Nursing Association strike, as well.
Congress president Daniel Urai confirmed yesterday individual affiliate unions would express their support and solidarity in the normal manner by presenting money and food donations when they visited the picketing nurses.
Support has come in from international bodies as well.
Hans Engelberts, the secretary of the France-based trade union movement, Public Service International in a letter of support wrote,
"We have been following developments in Fiji with growing concern over the interim Government's harsh employment policies, inflexible stance, intimidating tactics and threats of physical violence," Engelberts stated.
"PSI supports the right of Fiji's nurses to decent levels of pay and working conditions which would alleviate the high incidences of stress burn out and mortality rates."
The following is from the Fiji Times.
Women's group support nurses
THE Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) today expressed support for Fiji's striking nurses, saying they are underpaid and undervalued, yet provide an invaluable service to the people of Fiji.
FWRM executive director Virisila Buadromo called on police to allow the nurses to conduct their legal strike in peace, and not engage in intimidation or harassment.
''The Movement stands with the nurses, and we urge our fellow citizens to also support these important service providers. We also urge the authorities and other citizens and groups to ensure that this remains a peaceful and lawful protest,'' Ms Buadromo said.
FWRM is concerned about the safety of the striking women, and calls on all authorities to respect the rule of law and the nurses' right to take industrial action.
Members of the Fiji Nursing Association (FNA) went on strike at midnight last night, after talks with the interim regime failed.
The nurses are calling for the reinstatement of the five per cent pay cut imposed on all civil servants earlier this year.