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Minister for Em­ploy­ment, Pro­duc­tiv­ity and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Semi Koroilavesau yes­ter­day said com­plaints raised by sea­sonal work­ers from Fiji were be­ing looked into by an Aus­tralian Fair Work Om­buds­man. “There are two com­pa­nies in Aus­tralia that are now been in­ves­ti­gated by the Fair Work Om­buds­man af­ter some work­ers raised their com­plaints,” Mr Koroilavesau said. “Fair Work Om­buds­man is an in­de­pen­dent body formed by Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment and is look­ing into this mat­ter.” The two Aus­tralian com­pa­nies un­der probe em­ployed 168 sea­sonal Fi­jian work­ers; one com­pany em­ployed 30 Fi­jians while the other com­pany had 138. Ac­knowl­edg­ing many sea­sonal work­ers who have re­turned from Aus­tralia and were seated among the crowd, he said he had re­ceived com­plaints from work­ers who had not re­ceived their su­per­an­nu­a­tion funds. “One of the work­ers did com­plain that there was no record of his su­per­an­nu­a­tion while some com­plained about work­ing con­di­tions,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

He said the re­sults of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be submit­ted to the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment be­fore releasing them to the Fi­jian gov­ern­ment.

“This is our first time ex­pe­ri­ence un­like other Pa­cific coun­tries that had been in the pro­gramme for like seven to eight years,” he said. “We are re­view­ing our pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures about what we have done.”

Photo: Shratika Naidu

Minister for Em­ploy­ment, Pro­duc­tiv­ity and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Semi Koroilavesau (right) dur­ing the public con­sul­ta­tion in Labasa Civic Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

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