‘Bad times don’t last’

Muniappa Goundar. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

The Fiji Teachers Union president Muniappa Goundar has described the past 16 years as the most challenging, describing it as the “dark days”.

Addressing as many as 500 teachers at the FTU annual conference and annual general meeting held at the Labasa Sangam College, Mr Goundar said those were the bad times.

“But bad times don’t last forever, yes definitely. “Times were bad for the past 16 years but not forever,” he said.

“The union survived. People branded us as toothless tigers despite claims of being in a democratic country. “We were never toothless tigers and we will never be, no matter what the situation is.

“I stand here as president and proud to see changes in the country’s leadership and we welcome the Coalition Government, where we have trust and mutual respect.”

This Government, Mr Goundar said, has given us the much needed media freedom by repealing the Media Industry Development Act 2010.

“Government has brought hope, vigour and passion. We can achieve anything if we work together in unity and stay united.”

He told teachers the reinstatement of the ATS workers whose plights were made known over the past years but fell on deaf ears proved that the Coalition Government cared for Fijians.

“The union has had good and bad days, but we will not compromise our stand as we have a common goal to defend our teachers,” he said.

“Unions are built on values and workers’ rights be recognised even where there is instability to ensure justice for everyone.

“When we are united one for all and all for one, we become powerful rather than alone. Let’s realise the power of unity.”

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