VANUATU WORKERS DEMAND RETIREMENT FUNDS

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (December 30, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Hundreds of angry workers surrounded the headquarters of Vanuatu’s National Provident Fund in Port Vila Tuesday, demanding repayment of their contributions to the fund.

The protest followed a report released last week by Vanuatu’s Ombudsman that politicians have misused the fund in the amount of over $5,000,000.

Under the compulsory retirement plan, workers contribute three per cent of their salaries, which is matched by their employers.

When told they now could not access their full accounts until they reach the age of 55, protesters applied en masse for funds under a new provision permitting small loans.

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