Felix Anthony’s statement to the media titled “Fiji Labour Party no longer represents workers” has to be the biggest joke of the year as the Party has been a consistent and diligent voice advocating workers’ rights and welfare over the years.
His statement, therefore, that Labour “can no longer be relied on to give workers a credible voice in the hard times they are facing”, is simply malicious and dishonest.
FLP’s record in standing up for the interests of the workers and the poor of this nation, cannot be challenged. The same cannot be said of Felix Anthony’s own leadership of the trade union movement which leaves a lot to be desired.
Indeed, FLP understands that his statement to the media is not an officially sanctioned FTUC release but the personal comments of Felix Anthony.
It is a pity that Mr. Anthony has decided to air his disappointments in public. His comments about the conduct of the FLP Annual Delegates Conference in Nadi on Saturday are a pack of lies.
He came to the meeting with a pre-planned agenda but could not get support from the delegates. It was he who wanted the election of office bearers deferred but the delegates wanted elections held – after all, the ADC was held after a span of three years and elections were long overdue, executive positions left vacant had to be filled.
Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry rubbished claims by Felix Anthony that he and his son dominated the conference on every issue. “Felix spoke the longest and the loudest. He came with a divisive agenda but failed to receive support from delegates and left before the conference concluded,” Mr Chaudhry said.
This is certainly not the first time Felix Anthony has gone public with his challenge to the Labour leadership. He tried this in 2006 and failed. He and five other dissident members brought considerable disrepute to the Party and had to be disciplined. Felix later apologized and was taken back but received a strong reprimand.
“The Fiji Labour Party has a lot of other more important matters to attend to than waste its time over such malicious and frivolous comments,” Mr Chaudhry said.