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Workers lose jobs

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, January 08, 2014

ABOUT 100 PWD workers in Lautoka are concerned about their future and that of their families after receiving termination letters.

Some of the workers approached the media out of concern for the welfare of their families and children.

With the new school term to start in two weeks, 48-year-old Joeli Gucake said as a sole breadwinner, he was very worried.

He said he had worked for the PWD as a mechanic for 23 years.

"One of my children will be in Form Seven, one in Form Six and the youngest is in Class Eight," Mr Gucake said.

"I am worried about where to get the money to support their education.

"Also I have to clear my home loan and other hire-purchase items."

Mr Gucake said job opportunities these days were very few and he was thinking about mowing lawns to earn money.

"My main priority right now is to find ways to put food on the table for my family."

Fellow workmate Sowelio Vuso said he had worked for the PWD for more than 24 years and was also worried about his family's future.

"We really do not know where to get help and we are trying hard to secure jobs from other organisations," said Mr Vuso.

"Most of us are facing financial problems and we're mainly concerned about our children and families' daily needs."

Last week, Works permanent secretary Commander Francis Kean said PWD workers "terminated" in the three divisions were all project staff engaged under the ministry's Trade and Manufacturing Accounts (TMA).

"The ministry has 16 TMAs operating in the three divisions including these project mechanical staff in the Central Division.

"These project staff are engaged temporarily under the terms and conditions of Government Wage Earner 2010.

"This is a routine annual termination during this time of the year when we have our stand-down period which began on December 19, 2013.

"The majority of these staff will be reengaged during mid or the latter part of January 2014, once we have projects online and business to operate these 16 TMAs."

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