19 Dec 2011

Union says Fiji Water layoffs made in bad faith

10:43 pm on 19 December 2011

A union trying to negotiate a deal for laid-off workers at Fiji Water's bottling plant on Viti Levu say the company has not acted in good faith.

The US-owned exporter has made a third of its work force at its Viti Levu plant redundant.

The Assistant General Secretary of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union Mikaela 1_incoming.1_radiowires-1

Mataka says his union had been negotiating with the company since it revealed last month it would be reducing its four hundred strong workforce.

Mr Mataka says he thought the two parties were still in talks and he was also surprised by the nature of the last meeting with Fiji Water.

"We had a permit to meet with management and the condition of that meeting was the police had to be present at that meeting. We disagreed. The police were actually there when we came. We were trying to negotiate a package for the workers."

Mikaela Mataka says the union wanted retraining as part of the package and he will try to restart talks in the new year.