19 Sep 2006

Fiji Mineworkers Union to conduct secret ballot over strike action

1:43 pm on 19 September 2006

The Fiji Mine Workers Union is holding a secret ballot of its members over the next three days to determine whether to take strike action at the Vatukoula gold mine.

The union's general secretary, Satish Chandra, says he expects up to a thousand workers out of the 1,800 strong workforce to take part in the vote.

He says the outcome of the ballot will decide whether the union will take industrial action over the company making 125 mineworkers redundant earlier this year.

Mr Chandra says most of those affected were union members and union office bearers.

He says they are concerned about the way the company took action and who was targetted.

"There are two issues. One issue is unfair termination of union members. And, also in any negotiation, of course, in redundancy issues and without any agreement, this is where the union will do the industrial action."

Mr Chandra says the decision on what to do next will be clear by the end of the week.