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Seamen Back Bainimarama

Seamen Back Bainimarama
Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union members during the annual general meeting in Labasa on July 14, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka
September 30
15:26 2014

A group of seamen have indicated their support for the newly-elected Voreqe Bainimarama led- government.

The group spokesman Ratu Raivolita Uluilakeba said yesterday they are happy that now with Prime Minister Bainimarama back in power, his government could look at ways to improve seamen’s wages and working conditions.

“We welcome and support our big brothers like the Prime Minister, Mr Timoci Natuva, Mr Semi Koroilavesau and Mr Joeli Cawaki who are now elected members of parliament,” he said.

“They are all seamen and they know all the difficulties we go through whether you’re captain, engineer or whatever position you hold in the boat.”

Ratu Raivolita who is based at Vuda Point in Lautoka, said they were happy at the improvements done in the upgrading of the standard of training at the Fiji Maritime Academy.

“Now we’ve highly qualified locals graduating from the academy every year and we know with our big brothers now in government they could look at ways of improving wages and working conditions.”

He pointed out that the seamen minimum wages is still at $2per hour.

“That covers for all from the captain right down to an ordinary worker in the boat. And mind you these are high qualified and skilled people. So for example if a shipping company pays me at $1.95 per hour that’s illegal but at $2 per hour that’s fine but for many of us they settle for that as they want to work and earn for their families.”

Ratu Raivolita said what they go through explains why many of our qualified local seamen are working in overseas boats or have moved abroad

“We always believe in that adage that Rome was not built in a day. Since 2006, Prime Minister Bainimarama and the ministry concerned had been working hard to improve the country’s shipping industry.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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