13 Aug 2007

Fiji miners yet to hear if redundancy funds available from re-opening of Vatukoula

3:38 pm on 13 August 2007

Miners in Fiji are yet to hear whether they will receive money they believe is owed to them now that the Vatukoula gold mine is to be re-opened.

1700 workers lost their jobs when the Emperor Gold Mining company shut it down in December but another company, Westech, has signed an agreement with the interim government and is set to restart operations at the mine.

The general-secretary of the Fiji Mineworkers Union, Satish Chandra, says this is good news for the district where people have been struggling to survive.

He says he is hoping to meet with Westech to see if redundancy funds are available for the miners.

"I will not force the new management because I believe, at the moment, they are also in a very difficult position. So, we have to work together to achieve the goal, and let the operation continue and get people engaged, and everybody gets the benefit out of it."

Satish Chandra.