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Aborted closure a wakeup call for job security

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 1, 2010) - A union representing many workers at Fiji Water says the company’s near closure is a wake-up call for them to make the most of their better than average pay packets.

The American company has started operating again, two days after announcing it would close its plant following Fiji’s interim government’s decision to hike its tax on bottled water. 400 jobs were at risk.

[PIR editor’s note: Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has reportedly welcomed the decision by FIJI Water to reopen its operations saying that the Government remains committed to "encouraging investment in Fiji".]

The Assistant General Secretary of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union, Mikaela Mataka, says an unskilled new worker at Fiji Water can earn US$2.70 an hour, more than double the amount they could get elsewhere.

"It was a lesson for us. I’m going to talk to the members about what happened and maybe start changing our attitude towards their job now and if they haven’t had any savings themselves, maybe they should start putting something aside now."

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