30 Jan 2004

Major Australian company cuts wages of Solomon Islands workers

7:18 am on 30 January 2004

The Australian company, Patrick Defence Logistics, has defended big cuts to the wages of its Solomon Islands workers in Honiara.

Patrick has the contract from the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to provide accommodation, meals, maintenance, transport and other support activities for the two bases set up at Honiara's Henderson Field Airport.

It has been employing Solomon Islanders in a range of roles since it arrived, but this week, wages and allowances were cut.

A spokesperson for Patrick, Felicity Moffat, says while the pay has been cut, it is still at least 30 percent more than the going rate in Honiara.

John Roughan of the Solomon Island Development Trust says the nature of the work has not changed and the slashed wages shows the arrogance of Patrick Logistics, which is exploiting unorganised workers who are desperate for employment.