23 Feb 2007

Fiji's Emperor Gold Mining to avoid meeting increased redundancy payments

10:36 am on 23 February 2007

Fiji's permanent arbitrator, William Callanchini, has ordered the Emperor Gold Mining Company to pay its laid off mine workers a redundancy package of five months pay upfront and two weeks pay for each year of service.

The Fiji Times reports that Mr Callanchini's award is based on an agreement the government, the company and the unions representing its workers reached in April last year.

But the company said this week that it would give only seven weeks pay, sell the mine and leave Fiji by the middle of March.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, visited the gold mine yesterday and promised the redundant workers that the interim administration would investigate the grievances of the miners that they were short paid.

The interim government has promised an assistance package to miners who want to start an alternative livelihood by farming.