9 Aug 2013

Fiji political party calls for sugar talks

1:51 pm on 9 August 2013

The People's Democratic Party in Fiji is calling on the government to make the state-owned industry body for sugar sit down and talk with workers who are threatening to strike over a pay dispute.

Workers have been waiting since last month for official approval to strike over a pay increase their union has described as an insult to them.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation has announced it will award a five point three percent wage, which the union says would give workers an extra eight dollars a week.

The democratic party's spokesperson, Nirmal Singh, says if the corporation cannot pay workers more it should just sit down with them and say that.

"We are not blaming the unions, we are not blaming the FSC, what we are asking is for the governmment to intervene and make sure that FSC office management and the union sit down and resolve this issue before it escalates into industrial action."

Nirmal Singh says because now is sugar harvesting time the dispute must be resolved quickly.