Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has assured members of the public at large that the police will ensure the safety of everyone and will not allow unscrupulous elements to disrupt the water supply or operations of WAF by union activists.
This is after concerns were made about possible water disruptions by activists.
“We are here to maintain law and order under the Public Order Act. Our officers have been on high alert to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand,” said Qiliho.
“I would like to remind everyone that no strike has been approved and any such action is illegal.”
The Commissioner of Police expressed his disappointment at representatives and supporters who used what appeared to be an old interim court order from last year to gain entry to the Wailoku complex.
“There is a reason there are laws and procedures and using such a tactic is unbecoming. My officers went in and explained to the people gathered inside that they had been deceived and they subsequently agreed to move peacefully outside and I must commend them all for their cooperation”.
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While majority did cooperate, more than twenty people were arrested in Lautoka this morning for allegedly illegally gathering and refusing to disperse when advised to by police.
They are currently being questioned at the Lautoka Police Station as investigations continue.
Brig-Gen Qiliho also expressed his concerns that the union and workers had been misled by news from a fake Facebook page, which led to this impasse.
“Any individual holding a position of leadership needs to be responsible and cautious about the information they choose to disseminate to the media”.
“The initial source of information has been confirmed to be false, a point also acknowledged by Union executives, and yet they choose to use the false post of the termination of contracts to further their agenda”.
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The Chairman of WAF has publicly refuted the claims and explained in detail the processes needed to be taken regarding the concerned parties contracts following the completion of one of their projects.
Qiliho added, “The next process of advertising the new jobs is now underway, and I would strongly advise people to understand the law and not be tricked into following those with agendas by being part of illegal gatherings and strikes as it could hinder their chances of securing employment”.
Source: Fiji Police Force