SUNBIZ

Rosie Holidays Creates Employment Outside Tourism

Rosies were able to secure roadside maintenance contract works with Higgins Fiji Limited which has allowed Rosies to re-employ 38 former staff on a revolving weekly contract basis.
28 Jul 2020 11:08
Rosie Holidays Creates Employment Outside Tourism
One of the Rosie roadside maintenance clearing crews in full gear and ready to commence with their contract work in Rakiraki. Photo: Rosie Holidays.

Following the closure of the Nadi International Airport in late March, the family-owned tourism company, Rosie Holidays found it impossible to continue its operations and keeping their staff employed.

This was in light of COVID-19 were international borders closed which meant no international visitors were able to enter Fiji.

This led to the difficult decision of laying off their employees in early June.

Plans

During this time, the Rosie management team began looking at how they could continue to care and look after their people even after their formal employment relationship had ended.

This included the development of programmes and sourcing of means that would offer alternative and sustainable ways of earning a livelihood.

This started with the distribution of food care packs to each and every former employee of the company in late June.

This food pack valued at $120 each contained basic food items that would help subsidise their food budget for over a month.

Rosie Holidays are continuing this programme every two months to all their former employees to help them through this challenging time.

Higgins Fiji Limited

One of the more innovative and exciting pivots engineered by Rosies has been their success at negotiating and confirming work contracts with Higgins Fiji Limited.

Last month, Rosies were able to secure roadside maintenance contract works with Higgins Fiji Limited which has allowed Rosies to re-employ 38 former staff on a revolving weekly contract basis.

Centre: Eroni Puamau, General Manager Rosie Holidays shaking hands with Peter Brown, Head of Operations for Higgins Fiji Limited, flanked by some of the former Rosie employees.. Photo: Rosie Holidays.

Centre: Eroni Puamau, General Manager Rosie Holidays shaking hands with Peter Brown, Head of Operations for Higgins Fiji Limited, flanked by some of the former Rosie employees.. Photo: Rosie Holidays.

Through this opportunity, these former drivers, tour guides, reservation consultants, graphic designers, airport concierge staff and the like have been able to continue working and earning a weekly wage which has provided great relief to their families.

Eroni Puamau, General Manager of Rosie Holidays said: “My heart broke seeing the tears and the quiet desperation on the faces of my colleagues when we met to discuss what was happening in tourism and how this would affect us all.

“I have spent almost 20 years with most of my colleagues here at Rosies and there was no way we could just leave them with their redundancy package and forget them.

“Whilst we have stayed busy focusing on cost control, market recovery scenarios, our hearts were also on the humanitarian reality with not just our people out of work, but also the entire tourism industry workforce who are currently unemployed.

“We have been working on programmes and projects which could get people back into alternative forms of employment.

“We don’t care what it is, as long as our people can do the work and get paid for their effort!

“This is most important for us,” said Mr Puamau.

He said this contract work with Higgins Fiji Limited is helping to sustain 38 families in our community which is around 200 people being cared for.

“We are very thankful to Higgins Fiji for giving Rosies this opportunity to care for our tourism people who are out of work.

“We are also working in partnership with a number of local relief agencies including HOPE Worldwide, the Market Development Facility to help in re-skilling people to pivot into other sustainable non-tourism work and we are very grateful for their support,” he added.

Currently, the Rosie Holidays Roadside maintenance team are working on mowing and clearing the roadside between Tavua and Rakiraki towns.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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