24 Feb 2004

Fiji lawyer representing soldiers in Iraq say they are owed millions in unpaid wages

4:11 pm on 24 February 2004

The Fiji lawyer representing a group of 50 former soldiers who were contracted by a private company for deployment to Iraq, says in total, 500 men are owed 12-and-a-half-million-US-dollars in wages.

Tevita Fa says he will bring legal action against Global Risk Strategies and its Fiji representative, Lieutenant Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce, for making false promises.

Mr Fa says the men have told him they were promised lucrative pay by Lieutenant Colonel Raivoce in Fiji but once they got to Iraq, they had to sign a contract for lower wages.

"None of these people could return to Fiji, because they didn't have any money. So they stayed on and continued their work with Global Risk. These people had no alternative. They were taken there by Global Risk, they arrived there, they were told something else. They had no option but to sign what they were given otherwise there was no return fare back home"

Mr Fa says the men want to bring a class action on behalf of all Fiji 500 soldiers in Iraq.