27 Nov 2002

Strike continues by Fiji customs and revenue staff

6:33 pm on 27 November 2002

A strike is continuing by nearly 700 staff at the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs authority despite it being declared illegal by Labour minister, Kenneth Zinck.

Shameem Khan, who is the authority's officer in charge at Nausori airport, says nobody will be going back until they've been given a 30 percent pay rise.

He says people are determined to stay out even though Mr Zinck has ordered them to return to work.

"They have already ordered us to leave the compound so we have left the customs area, and we are sitting under one tree, just near to the office,... and even though it has been declared illegal, we are still on strike."

Mr Khan says corporate and finance officers have been awarded a 66 percent pay increase so staff believe that 30 percent is reasonable because they've already met their targets this year.

He also says the strike is having an impact at the ports and airports because nearly 700 people nationwide have stopped work and there are only a few left to process flights or ships.

Mr Khan says importers are not getting deliveries and exporters are having to wait to have their loads accepted.