1 Feb 2007

Fiji's interim administration allocates emergency funding to redundant workers

10:34 am on 1 February 2007

Fiji's interim administration has allocated 360,000 US dollars in emergency funding to help nearly 1,700 workers who were made redundant when the Emperor Gold Mining Company suddenly closed the Vatukoula gold mine last month.

The money will fund a rehabilitation programme for the miners which will focus on farming, self-employment, small business development, skills training and start up assistance.

The interim minister for labour and industrial relations, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, says the closure of the 72-year old gold mine has had a significant impact on the mine workers and their families as well as the nation.

The laid off workers will be given their redundancy pay by the Emperor Gold Mining Company next month.

The miners laid off last month were among hose who were recruited after the company locked out and sacked over 900 striking workers in 1991.

Their strike lasting over 13 years was the longest in Fiji's industrial relations history.