7 Aug 2013

Fiji sugar union still waiting on ministry to validate vote to strike

1:27 pm on 7 August 2013

A Fiji union says sugar workers will strike if the Fiji Sugar Corporation does not respond to demands to negotiate on pay.

The Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union is waiting on the Labour Ministry to validate a secret ballot last month where 90 per cent of workers voted in favour of a strike, but has not had any contact since.

Its leader, Felix Anthony, says many workers were intimidated by managers, the military and police, and threatened they would lose their jobs.

He says he won't negotiate with the Fiji Sugar Corporation through the media and wants to sit at the table with it to work out an appropriate rate of pay.

"We believe the workers deserve a decent pay rise, something that is not just a token and something that's going to make a difference to their standard of living. The real wage over the last seven years has declined by more than 40 per cent. We are not talking about a pay rise we are talking about trying to minimise the decline in real wage of workers."

Felix Anthony.