4 Jan 2006

Talks still ongoing to reinstate hundreds of mine employees in Fiji

2:11 pm on 4 January 2006

Talks are ongoing to reinstate over a hundred employees who were sacked last week at Fiji's Emperor Gold Mining Company.

Mine Workers Union general secretary Satish Chandra said the workers have not returned to work because no agreement has been finalised with the company.

141 permanent employees at the Vatukoula mine were among 374 workers laid off from the mine's toal workforce of around two thousand.

Mr Chandra says the union is lobbying for workers to be reinstated quickly.

"No date yet. Maybe within this week. We're trying our best to resolve the matter as soon as possible. And if everything goes well, then I hope then workers can then start back on Monday."

Emperor made the workers redundant as part of restructuring the mine's operations.

The general manager Sean O'Connor said employees are not being terminated but being put on extended upaid leave.