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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 14) – Trouble is brewing at Fiji newspaper the Daily Post following a proposal to reduce the wages and benefits of workers by up to 50 percent in some cases.

Yesterday, a representative of some workers, the Fiji Public Service Association said its members were willing to stand up for their rights should the need arise.

FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the association had been informed about the proposal by its members at the Daily Post.

Mr Singh said members had informed the association about meetings being conducted by the management on its intention to reduce the pay and benefits unilaterally by up to 50 percent in some cases.

"This proposal is shocking in that the income level of many staff, who are already below the poverty line will drop drastically and cause multitude of problems with the welfare of their families," he said.

[Prevailing wages for news reporters in Fiji and other Pacific island nations is notoriously low, discouraging many with journalism degrees to pursue this line of work in the region. According to the recently published book "Mekim Nius," most news reporters in Fiji were making less than FJ$15,000 (US$8,800) annually in 2001.

June 14, 2005

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