STRIKE CRIPPLES FOUR FIJI SUGAR MILLS

admin's picture

SUVA, Fiji (July 22, 1997 - PACNEWS)---A strike by 2,500 members of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union has thrown the Fiji sugar industry into turmoil.

The strike has crippled operations at the country's four mills and has left tons of harvested sugar cane abandoned on farms.

Union members pulled out of the mills after apparently rejecting occupational health and safety standards established by the Fiji Sugar Corporation. The standards first were implemented in 1993.

An extraordinary meeting of union members last Saturday overwhelmingly approved the strike action.

Union Secretary Felix Anthony says the union will not return to work until the health and safety concerns are addressed.

Meantime, Fiji Sugar Corporation Managing Director Jonetani Galuinadi has denied that there is any real dispute over occupational health and safety. He said the union was attempting to find a way to legitimize its strike action, which actually is in support of higher wage demands.

Union Secretary Anthony says, however, the strike is not linked to wages.

National Farmers Union leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has advised farmers to cease harvesting sugar cane until the dispute is sorted out by all parties concerned, including the Fiji government.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment