Government through the Ministry of Labour assisted in the recovery of one month’s wages for 62 workers of a prominent resort in Sigatoka.
Total wages recovered amounted to a sum of $51,821.76.
Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment, Mr Jone Usamate said the issue was lodged with the ministry’s Complaints and Resolution Team (CRT) earlier this year by resort workers.
“The case was then referred to the Ministry’s Sigatoka office for further investigation of the matter,” Mr Usamate said.
The Ministry advised and reminded resort workers and villagers to refrain from carrying out any illegal actions against the employer including illegal strike as the ministry would address their complaints through the provisions of the labour laws.
Mr Usamate said the investigation team met with resort workers for an open discussion to obtain the complaints, then met with the resort owner and management team to discuss the issue of non-payment of wages.
“My labour team explained the provisions of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007(ERP) and the Hotel & Catering Wages Regulations Order (WRO) and the time frame given for the payment of unpaid wages by the employer,” Mr Usamate said.
“The team also made a firm commitment to resolve the case and through discussions, the employer fully understood the provisions of the law and the consequence of failing to comply.”
Mr Usamate sincerely thanked the employers of the resort for their support and commitment in amicably settling the matter within the provisions of the law.
“Workers of the prominent resort were pleased with the achievement and were grateful by the intervention and approach taken by the Ministry in settling the case within four days,” Mr Usamate added.
Mr Usamate further commended the assertiveness and professional attitude displayed by the staff of the Sigatoka Labour office for effectively liaising with the employer to successfully resolve and conclude the matter.
“Our staff members displayed flexibility and commitment to the mission of the Ministry and effective communication skills to bring this matter to a successful conclusion. The work of the Ministry can only be carried out by the commitment of our officers,” he added.
“They have provided a wonderful example of what it means to be a servant of the public.”
The Ministry is currently liaising with the Nadroga and Navosa provincial council office, the Fiji National Provident Fund, Department of Immigration, and Fiji Islands Revenue & Customs Authority to jointly visit the resort to conduct awareness and training for both the workers and the management.