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Fiji Time: 4:29 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Dad's wait for justice

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

THIRTEEN years ago Josaia Cama, 35, lost all his fingers as a result of frostbite. Now he wants justice.

The incident occurred in Japan as he was offloading fish from the vessel he was working on.

According to the Labour Ministry Tribunal, Mr Cama's injury was work-related and an order was made for vessel owners CKP Fishing Company Limited to pay Mr Cama $24,000 in compensation.

The order was made on November 29 last year for the sum to be paid in 30 days, however, there has been no payment.

During the tribunal hearing, it was determined the frostbite occurred because Mr Cama was not provided the right type of work equipment.

Mr Cama says life has been difficult since he lost his fingers.

He now resides at Namakala Village in Veisari, just outside Suva.

"I haven't been able to get work anywhere, so I rely on myself to provide for my six children and my wife," he said.

"My eldest is 16 years old and the youngest is five. School has started and I cannot send my children to school. They look at other children going to school and I know they feel bad.

"I normally pick cawaki (sea urchins) to sell, making around $50 to $60 a week. Sunday is the only day my family enjoys a proper meal, other days we make do with whatever we have."

Mr Cama has been hoping the fishing company comes through with the compensation so he can make a new start for his family.

Attempts to get comments from CKP Fishing Co Ltd have been futile. Nobody was at their office in Rona St, Walu Bay and there was no response to calls made to their listed number.

According to company lawyer Suresh Chandra, he had not been instructed to pay out any money.

Mr Cama has been told by Labour Ministry officials they would be taking the matter to court but he would have to wait at least another fortnight.