We Are With You

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Government is on the side of the workers. He said last night Government was “doing things to actually improve their (workers) conditions rather than just
12 Jul 2015 12:52
We Are With You
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (sixth from left), with R.C Manubhai MD, Dinesh Patel (seventh from left, back), pose for a picture with the recipients of the awards during the R.C Manubhai Group employees award presentation ceremony at Vodafone Arena last night. Photo: Rama

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Government is on the side of the workers.

He said last night Government was “doing things to actually improve their (workers) conditions rather than just talking about it.”

He was speaking at the RC Manubhai Group of Companies Awards night at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

“This is a Government that understands how to take into consideration and balancing all factors, such as the rights of workers, encouraging new investment, sustaining jobs, giving opportunity to make profits, creating new jobs, while ensuring working conditions and living conditions improve.”

He said the Opposition members including some big name trade unionists “have no idea how a modern economy works but we do.”

“They don’t understand how to balance all considerations,” he added.

“We all have to work together – as one nation, as one people, as Fijians. Government, employers and workers – to increase our productivity. Produce more by working harder to grow our national cake so that everyone can get a bigger slice.

“You will have all heard me say that having achieved equal opportunity for all in Fiji, we now need to take our beloved nation to the next level. To educate more of our people and provide them with skills. To work harder and smarter to improve our economy and fulfill our vision of Fiji becoming a modern nation state.

“And my Government intends to do so by strengthening the grand partnership we have with employers and workers to move Fiji forward together.”

Outlining changes that will benefit workers, Mr Bainimarama said: “Just on Thursday – 3 days ago – my Government introduced and passed  a new law that will significantly improve the amount payable under workers’  compensation. So if you have an accident at work, the compensation amount that you will now receive under the workers’ compensation act will be more than double then what it was before Thursday. This amount had not been changed for over 21 years.

“In the event of anyone being killed at work, the amount of compensation more than doubles from $24,000 to $50,000. In the event of disability from an accident at work the amounts have increased to almost $70,000.

“Earlier this year, we increased the FNPF contributions of employers to 10 per cent while leaving the workers contribution at 8 per cent, which means more money for you when you retire. More peace of mind.

“And part of our education revolution gives workers the opportunity to improve their skills in a variety of disciplines at our new network of technical colleges. Giving you all an incentive to learn. To give you a better opportunity to earn.

“We of course are providing free education for your children and families and free medicine, free water, subsidised bus fares and electricity for those earning below a particular income level.”

He applauded the contribution the workers are making for RC Manubhai “ a company that is partnering with all of you and the Government to grow the national cake. And to take the Fijian Made brand to the rest of the world.”

“As I said on Thursday night when I launched the new Trade Framework, we must redouble our export effort. To sell more of our goods and services. To earn the income we need to spread the benefits of prosperity to as many of our fellow Fijians as possible, and especially the disadvantaged.

“Many of you are already part of that campaign as employees of a company that is selling products to our island neighbours and is now exploring new horizons. By achieving internationally-recognised standards of quality through the ISO Certification you received last week, Manubhai is poised to extend its exports to the wider world, starting with Australia and New Zealand. And I can assure you that in this effort, you will have the Government’s full support.” He congratulated award winners.

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