9 Aug 2013

Timing for sugar strike worst possible says Fiji party

5:00 pm on 9 August 2013

The People's Democratic Party in Fiji says now is the worst time for industrial action in the sugar sector.

Last month the state-owned industry body for sugar announced it would award sugar workers a five point three percent wage rise following threats from the workers union of a strike.

The union says wages have declined by 40 percent over the past seven years and an increase of just eight dollars a week is an insult to them.

The party's spokesperson, Nirmal Singh, says harvesting is not the time for the clash of personalities or politics as the livelihood of the nation is at stake.

"The retention from the sugar earnings is far greater even even than tourism so it's a very important industry in terms of retention of the dollar in this country and sustaining the livelihood of average and rural population."

Nirmal Singh says if the Fiji Sugar Corporation cannot afford to offer workers a bigger increase it must sit down and prove that to the workers union.