14 Apr 2016

Fiji delegation looking at seasonal worker programme concerns

8:24 am on 14 April 2016

Fiji's Employment Minister Semi Koroilavesau will head a delegation to Australia next week to negotiate more workers for the seasonal workers program.

FBC News reports while there, the minister will look into claims of exploitation with some workers claiming they were paid less than 8 US dollars a week.

Mr Koroilavesau says the delegation will visit farms and the workers and also have discussions with the government.

Fiji government whip Semi Koroilavesau

Fiji government minister, Semi Koroilavesau. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

He says the emphasis will be on securing more work for people from rural and isolated parts of Fiji.

According to Australian media reports, 13 Fijian workers claimed they were being underpaid and their working conditions were unfair.

While some were left with 7 dollars a week after deductions, others still were left with no money in some instances to live on resorting to calling on family in Fiji to send them money.

There are currently 183 Fijians working in Australia under the Seasonal Workers Program