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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 5, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's Textile, Clothing and Footwear Council (TCF) has issued a strong warning concerning worker exploitation in the industry.

The Council warned garment executives that factories will lose their tax-free status if they are found to be overworking or abusing their employees.

The warning follows complaints by workers at a Suva garment factory that they were forced to work 34 hours without a break.

TCF Council Secretary Ray Dunstan said factories that do not pay minimum wages and Provident Fund and National Training Council levies, risk losing their tax-free status. He also said, however, that garment workers who find themselves employed in unsuitable working conditions should look for employment in another factory.

Dunstan said there is no reason why a garment worker should put up with harsh working conditions when many factories offer good conditions.

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