25 Jul 2005

Fiji union to continue push for wage increase after strike ended

3:55 pm on 25 July 2005

The union representing hotel workers in Fiji says it will continue pressing for a wage rise despite their strike being declared illegal and employees having to return to their jobs.

Timoci Naivaluwaqa, the general secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industry Employees, says their ten percent wage demand is reasonable because hotel workers are low paid.

Thousands of striking workers caused disruption at hotels and resorts until the Labour minister declared the strike illegal on the weekend and ordered the Hotel Association and the Union to go through compulsory arbitration.

Mr Naivaluwaqa says although other claims may be withdrawn, this will be one demand that they will present at arbitration.

"The hotels are making money, you know, there's no two ways about it. So, you know, they are spending millions of dollars on their developments, they're spending on their hotels, but when it comes to wages of workers, they are least been given priority."

Timoci Naivaluwaqa.

The Hotel Association says it will continue talks with the union in an effort to resolve the dispute prior to arbitration.