NATION

Waiqele Saw Mill To Resume Operations Today

The mill was shut down by one of its director Aziz Begg yesterday leaving almost 200 workers in disbelief.
21 Jan 2020 11:49
Waiqele Saw Mill To Resume Operations Today
Disappointed workers await a written notice from the Waiqele Saw Mill directors on ceasing operations at Naqelewaqa on January 20,2020. Photo: Laisa Lui

Waiqele Saw Mill director and shareholder Ahmed Begg had assured workers that the company would resume operation from today.

The mill was shut down by one of its director Aziz Begg yesterday leaving almost 200 workers in disbelief.

Waiqele Saw Mill has two shareholders, Aziz Begg and Ahmed Begg.

The workers had turned up for work only to find out that business operations was ceased without any prior written notice.

Some workers who wished to remain anonymous said attempts to contact the director proved futile. Phone calls were unanswered.

“The directors have told us on Saturday that there will be no work on Monday, due to the freezing of the bank account. At the moment we have one week salary pending,” a worker said.

“We hope that the directors would discuss a solution together as we have families and financial commitments.”

Another worker said: “We need a written notice so we can seek financial assistance.”

Another worker who has been working for more than 30 years said this was the first time it has happened.

Director Mr Aziz Begg declined to comment and referred all questions to his lawyer.

However, Ahmed Begg said there was a conflict of interest that saw the company’s financial status declining.

He had gone to Suva to address the issues at hand.

“I will be in Labasa this afternoon and see that operations starts tomorrow,” Mr Ahmed Begg said.

“We as directors should be able to make decisions for the company and are liable to pay the contracted loyal workers.

“I understand that they have families and financial commitments too.

“The company should operate as normal irrespective of other matters,” he said.

Waiqele Saw Mill is the second largest mill in Fiji and is the major suppliers for hardware companies such as Vinod Patel, RC Manubhai, Kasabia and Carpenters.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj

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