9 Feb 2009

A planned pay increase in Fiji delayed for five months

11:30 am on 9 February 2009

A planned pay increase in Fiji has been delayed for five months.

The new wage order, setting the minimum wage for nine Fiji industries, was to be effective on February 1, 2009.

However, after much opposition from employers, the interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has issued a statement announcing the postponement.

Fiji Live says the interim leader believes the timing is not right and that demand for exported goods and services has been adversely affected by the global financial crisis.

Employers have said they would have to compensate for the increment in wages by laying off workers.

The Garment, Textile and Footwear industry, which has the lowest paid workers, had announced it was laying off 300 plus workers with a total of 1000 over the next few months as a result of the 20 per cent pay increase imposed via the wages order.

The National Wages Council had approved pay increases for nine industries, including garments, printing, building, hotel and catering, security, road transport, sawmilling and the wholesale and retail trades.