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COVID-19: Nine Sacrifice Employment For Colleagues

Nine Pacific Destinations employees have sacrificed their employment so that their other colleagues may continue to get paid. This is in light of the crash in tourism numbers because of
17 Mar 2020 12:37
COVID-19: Nine Sacrifice Employment For Colleagues
From left: Pacific Destinations managing director James Sowane with five of the nine workers, Viliame Bakewa, Asela Nai, Aliti Kula, Mesake Varogo and Keni Saravu. Photo: Charles Chambers

Nine Pacific Destinations employees have sacrificed their employment so that their other colleagues may continue to get paid.

This is in light of the crash in tourism numbers because of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and corresponding travel restrictions, around the world.

Pacific Destinations provides inbound travel management service to international visitors across New Zealand, Fiji, the greater Pacific Islands and Australia.

These workers, who own land in their villages, have opted to return to their land and toil and plant to sell their produce.

They want their other colleagues in the company, who are from other districts and have to pay rent, mortgages and hire purchase to continue receiving their pay, even if on reduced hours.

Testimonies

Keni Saravu, 53, a driver from Lomolomo Village, between Lautoka and Nadi said he started taking two or three days off but as he saw how things were with the company, so he decided to take leave without pay.

“I am planting cassava and vegetables and I also go out fishing to help me.

“I wanted my colleagues who have bills to pay to continue working and I feel good about my decision.

”This is the true Fijian spirit,” Mr Saravu said.

Aliti Kula, 42, who is in charge of the company’s transport fleet said she had land at her village of Saunaka and in Votualevu.

“I am leasing our land and will start planting there.

“I have also invited those in the company who do not have land to come and plant their food on this land at Votualevu.

“I have been with the company for the past 20 years and have 64 employees in the transport section which I look after.

“I just feel good about doing this for my colleagues as I feel it is the right thing to do and what we Fijians are made of,” Mr Kula said.

Viliame Bakewa, 44, of Voua Village in Nadroga, also a driver said he was also returning to toil his land so that his colleagues may continue to be employed because they would have no other source of income if they were out of work.

Asela Nai, 37, a receptionist is from Saunaka Village and said her decision was based on her thoughts for her colleagues.

“I have land in Saunaka and also receive lease money which some of these workers do not have so I felt it was only fair that I gave them a chance to continue working as I could survive on my own,” Mr Nai said.

Mesake Narogo, 42, of Korovuto Village outside Nadi also echoed the same sentiments saying he could work the land and go out fishing to survive while his colleagues who were on rent could not do this

Feedbackcharles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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