July 25 2007

PRESS Release

Women Support Striking Nurses

THE FIJI Women's Rights Movement today expressed its support for Fiji's striking nurses.  Members of the Fiji Nurses 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.

"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," said FWRM Executive Director, Virisila Buadromo.

"We call on the police to allow the nurses to conduct their legal strike and protest in peace, and not engage in intimidation or harassment."

Late last week, the Fiji police and military conducted joint anti-riot exercises, which many observers perceived as intimidation against the unions.  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.

"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."

ENDS