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Fiji Time: 4:35 PM on Monday 21 April

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Overseas road contractors to start next year

Nasik Swami
Saturday, November 17, 2012

THERE is no guarantee that 1035 workers who will be made redundant by the Fiji Roads Authority will be re-employed when new overseas contractors come on board next year.

FRA manager change Mike Rudge said workers should be mindful that the granting of new jobs would be determined by the new contractors.

Mr Rudge said of the 1035 workers, some had already received their redundancy letters while others would receive theirs soon.

He said letters issued to the workers stated that their term of employment would end on December 31.

And with some workers already highlighting that the redundancy package being offered was very little, Mr Rudge said the packages depended on the number of years they worked for FRA.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued earlier this week, government said despite the workers being made redundant, a lot of the staff members were expected to be re-employed as overseas contractors begin their work in the new year.

"We're giving all the affected workers one month's notice," the statement said.

"The new contractors have advised us that they will be inviting applications between now and the end of the year. By the time contractors start, many of our staff will be in line for the new positions."

It said the changes were part of government's program for a radical upgrade of the quality of Fiji's roads.

"One of the core roles of the overseas contractors will be to pass on their expertise to local workers.

"We want these reforms to have a lasting effect rather than just being a Band-Aid solution.

"This also presents a great opportunity for local workers to upgrade their skills," the government statement said.