Father Barr stated that government pay increases had not allowed for “the catch up factor” for “the lost or stolen wages over 30 years” due to employers not allowing wages to keep up with the cost of living.
“Of course the small lobby of greedy employers has once again got its way with government in a way consistent with crony capitalism. The protests of a few employers has won out over the needs of 60% of workers in full time employment,” he said.
Father Barr said he was informed that 5000 signatures of workers were presented to the Minister for Labour and the Prime Minister “but it seems that their voice counts for nothing”.
But this is the reality of the bainimarama and khaiyum junta. They tell the world that there here is a pay increase for workers but hide the truth about halving the recommended pay increase during implementation. The junta of liars and corrupt evil doers has slashed the Fiji Wages Council recommended pay increases by almost 50% in several categories, compared to the rates awarded in August under the Chair of Father Kevin Barr.
The Hotel and Catering Industry, a key source of revenue to Fiji, which the Wages Council had recommended a 15% increase for has been slashed to 7.9%. While khaiyum and his arrogant and bullshit artist permanent secretary for tourism reap the benefits from kickbacks from owner operators.
An angry Father Barr has rightly slammed this as “a scandal”. “This industry covers the tourist industry which claims to be a [multi] million dollar industry and receives a handout of $23m in the Budget yet it doesn’t want to pay its workers a decent wage,” he said. But we already know that the owners and operates in the tourism industry are corrupt and treating the poor Fiji workers as ignorant dumb workers to be treated as they see fit through the illegal essential industries decree .
Bainimarama continues to tell the poor workers that he has increased their pay, but the reality is that the lying bainimarama has halved it with some workers now going to receive an extra 5c to 1oc an hour.
Pay rises were also halved for workers in the Building and Civil and Engineering trades and printing sector, as evidenced from figures available to the FLP.
But in the garment and manufacturing sector, where the corrupt Mr Solanki is great friends with khaiyum, the junta adhered to the 9.9% award made by the Wages Council in August. Even then, the 9.9% increase granted will only allow pays in the garment sector to rise to a little over $2 an hour. It is less for beginners. Meanwhile Mr Solanki and his other garment factory owners make millions in profits. Remember, most of these corrupt operators have their families live overseas while they remain in Fiji to milk the system for as much as they can. And they are allowed to do so under bainimarama and khaiyum.
The FLP has often stated that the regime was anti-worker and anti-poor. Our view received support from Father Barr: “This government is more and more declaring itself to be anti-poor and anti-worker and that is very sad for those who had hoped that greater economic justice might be championed in our country”. Father Barr says the presentation of these increases in percentage terms is very misleading, and hide the fact that the increases are relatively small.
But this is the lies that bainimaram is giving the people, since December 2006, while trying to pretend that he is their savour - bainimarama is actually counting on the the poor people of Fiji being stupid and dumb, to believe the "bullshit" he tells them. Some already have but they are slowly realising the truth. And the promiscuous Sharon Smith-johns is doing all she can to ensure they do not see the truth.
The reality is that greedy business operators, including those businesses owned by New Zealand and Australian citizens, are enjoying these low wage increases so that they can maximise their profits while the poor people of Fiji suffer.