9 Feb 2009

Fiji workers called on to speak out about deferral of minimum wage increase

4:37 pm on 9 February 2009

The chairman of Fiji's Wages Council says workers need to speak out against moves to defer a much needed minimum wage rise for nine industries.

Father Kevin Barr says the interim government's move to bow to employer pressure to defer it is unfair.

The move to defer implementing a new minimum rate, originally due on February the 1st, is being blamed on the world financial crisis and rising costs for employers.

Father Kevin Barr joins with the former interim Finance Minister and Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in publicly criticising the move.

"I think there's going to be an outcry from workers. There's already been very strong statement from Mr [Mahendra] Chaudhry who came out very bravely in defence of workers and ordinary people. And Felix Chaudhry, [of] the Fiji Trade Union Council. But yes, a lot of people are outraged, but unfortunately a lot of the workers who are affected are afraid that if they speak out they may lose their job."

Father Kevin Barr, the Chairman of Fiji's Wages Council