3 Apr 2003

Palau promises help for stranded Chinese workers

10:30 am on 3 April 2003

The Palau government will help 200 Chinese workers stranded in the country to return home.

Their employer, a garment maker, collapsed some months ago, stranding the workers in Palau.

The President's Chief of Staff, Billy Kuartei says the government is working with the Chinese Embassy to repatriate them and that it will pay for the groups living needs.

Last week the workers protested outside the president's office after the company, Orientix Palau, was sold on credit to one of the groups with a claim against it.

The workers have been unemployed since January and the Taiwanese managers left Palau leaving no plans for the groups repatriation.

Mr Kuartei says the Chinese workers will be cared for until the matter is resolved.

"Whoever buys this company, the priorities would be repatriation of these employees, and wages which have been withheld must be given to them and before that time, housing, food and water, electricity, transportation will be provided at no cost to them while this dispute is being worked out."