27 Nov 2006

Mass lay-off of casual tourism workers in Fiji

11:33 am on 27 November 2006

The impasse between the Fiji government and its military and police forces has led to a mass lay-off of casual workers in the tourism industry and a cut in working hours for permanent hotel staff.

The stand-off between the Fiji military and the government has led to a large number of holiday cancellations, which has in turn forced hotels and resorts to make cut backs.

The general secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industry Employees, Michaele Mataka, says the impasse has had a huge impact on the country.

"Casual and seasonal, it is bad news for them. They have been laid off as a result of the impasse. They didn't supply me with numbers. All they told me is that they made the people who are casual and seasonal go. And the permanent employees have their hours reduced from forty-eight to forty hours a week. 17"

Mr Mataka says he is concerned that permanent staff will be hit even harder if the political stand-off continues.