4 Dec 2017

Higher wages will stop Fiji bringing in foreign workers - MP

12:59 pm on 4 December 2017
This photo taken on September 15, 2014 shows travellers at the central bus station as Fiji gets ready for the upcoming elections in Suva, the capital of Fiji.

Fiji bus stop in Suva. Photo: AFP

An opposition MP in Fiji says local bus drivers need to be offered more and owners discouraged from hiring drivers from the Philippines.

SODELPA MP Aseri Radrodro said he's been told 36 foreign drivers have been brought in and they are being paid the minimum wage.

The government increased the minimum wage to $FJ2.68 in September but SODELPA said it should be $FJ4 dollars.

Mr Radrodro said the wages need to be competitive, especially for drivers of PSVs [Public Service Vehicles], and it was the government's responsibility to ensure local unemployed are given jobs before Filipinos are brought in.

"When you look at the economics of it, it's a situation that needed to be addressed, we need to look after our employees in Fiji, especially in areas where there is an urgent need for review, in terms of better salaries, better working conditions," he said.

Mr Radrodro also raised concerns that tile layers from Samoa have been brought in to work on parts of the Nadi International Airport refurbishment.