17 Jun 2010

Vatakoula miners' meeting with interim government productive

9:25 am on 17 June 2010

The legal adviser for Fiji's striking Vatakoula miners says a meeting between the union and interim government officials today was very productive.

More than 300 workers from the Vatukoula Gold Mine went on strike 19 years ago over poor labour conditions, substandard housing and environmental damage at the mine.

Dr Shaista Shameem says the miners presented a compensation claim of four thousand US dollars per miner for every year of striking to permanent secretaries for a number of interim ministers including the Prime Minister.

"They have assured us that they will get back to us within a week. As we left they were meeting, the government delegation sat back in the conference room and continued to have their meeting. presumably there will be some directives given to various departments to provide more information. The solicitor general's office was represented so they will have to do sopme legal analysis of the papers that we have provided. But the miners are, FMU is feeling very upbeat."