FIJI WATER LAYS OFF A THIRD OF WORKFORCE

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Union thought negotiations with company were still underway

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 19, 2011) – An American-owned Fiji bottled water exporter has laid off about a third of its workforce.

One hundred workers have lost their jobs at Fiji Water which bottles artesian water in the remote Yaqara Valley on Viti Levu.

The company says the redundancies are due to streamlining at its bottling plant in Yaqara.

It says it has been consulting employees and their representatives since early last month and those laid off will receive a redundancy package.

The company says there are no plans for further redundancies.

The layoffs come a year after Fiji Water’s near closure due to a tax hike by the interim government.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union representatives have expressed their disappointment in the layoffs enacted by Fiji Water, saying the company "has not acted in good faith" in regards to its employees. Last month, Fiji Water revealed they would be cutting four-hundred jobs, during which time the Union was working to negotiate with the company.]

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