19 Aug 2003

500 striking Fiji garment workers sacked following strike

7:44 am on 19 August 2003

A Chinese-owned garment factory in Fiji has sacked more than 500 employees who took strike action for better pay and conditions.

The management of Ghim Li Fashions opened the factory gates at Lautoka for 15 minutes and told workers to enter to start work or be sacked.

Only some employees returned.

The company had earlier told workers they would be replaced by new employees from China if they did not return to work.

A company spokesman is quoted as saying the workers had deserted.

The sacked workers are crying foul and threatening to go on a hunger strike.

They are also asking the government to intervene.