8 May 2002

Fiji could face power cuts over industrial dispute

5:18 pm on 8 May 2002

There's been a warning that industrial action could follow moves by the Fiji Electricity Authority to restructure staff and assets.

The FEA Staff Association says the Authority's proposed cutbacks are unnecessary because many workers leave the company each year.

The Association's general secretary, Daniel Urai, says he's also concerned that the company is considering selling its power stations to independent producers.

He says the root of the problem lies with the government's unreasonable demand of a 10 percent dividend on the company's assets.

Mr Urai says he has met with company management and expressed his views.

"We are very confident that we will make management, this new management, listen to our voice, because we know we have specialised people who are trained to keep electricity burning in this country. They just can't bring anyone from anywhere to keep it running, and if our concerns are not heard, then we have no alternative, but to undertake action, that may bring about a blackout to our country, unfortunately."

Daniel Urai