MEDIA STATEMENT FROM THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND TRADE, AND TOURISM

The head of the Sugar Industry General Workers Union (SIGWU) is putting his own personal interests ahead of the well being of the workers he supposedly represents and more than 1200 other sugar mill workers who do not even belong to his union.

Any industrial action, especially in the middle of crushing season, is a shameless attempt to damage the sugar industry at a time when reform and hard work are showing concrete results in improving its financial health, reversing a long decline. This progress made possible the raise announced last week.

These steps forward have also meant that sugar cane farmers are now paid more and paid sooner for their crops.

The union boss has left no doubt that he looks down upon his the hard working members of his union and others to whom the sugar industry is a way of life.  He clearly thinks nothing of abusing his power in a vain attempt to survive at a time when his relevance in the Fijian economy has become questionable. His misleading and irresponsible advice to union members only threatens to take them down with him.

The union boss—in his desperate attempts to hang on – largely in the eyes of his meddling international labor allies –is actually taking part in a malicious effort to kill the Fijian tourism industry, threatening the jobs of thousands of Fijian workers; and by attempting to disrupt Fiji’s trade relationship with the United State, putting 15,000 Fijian jobs on the line.

These are the antics of the old Fiji, and have no place in Fiji now.

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