Hire of foreign cane cutters queried

THE Fiji Labour Party (FLP) has questioned the recruitment process of foreigners to work as canecutters here in Fiji. FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the party was also critical of the total lack of transparency in the recruitment process, especially its compliance with Fiji’s immigration laws.

He made the comments in response to a statement made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that Government was willing to employ foreign labourers as cane- cutters because no locals were available to do the job.

“We believe some ‘canecutters’ are already in the country yet we have not been given any information about who they are, who has recruited them, where are they staying, how much are they going to be paid and who will pay them?” Mr Chaudhry said.

He said the manner in which the whole issue was being handled raised a number of questions.

The former prime minister said Mr Bainimarama’s claims that locals were not available for the job was also not supported by facts. He said with the greater use of mechanical harvesters which were already in use, labour shortage should now be a thing of the past.