ILO meets laid off employees

The ILO Director for Pacific Island Countries, Matin Karimli (in blue shirt) at the Narewa village yesterday Picture: SUPPLIED

Representatives of more than 200 hotel workers who were laid off because of COVID-19 met International Labour Organization (ILO) Pacific Island Countries director Matin Karimli in Narewa Village, Nadi, last week.

The meeting was organised by the ILO as part of the global body’s efforts to find out how workers were coping during the pandemic.

Narewa Village headman Samuela Tuidraki said the meeting provided a great boost to the workers’ morale.

“One of the main reasons we were very happy with the visit was because it showed the care that such a global body had for our workers who have been out of work for a few months now,” he said.

“We discussed the real issues that each worker was facing and how they have been coping with being out of work and how they were taking care of their families.

“It’s very encouraging for our hotel workers and we appreciate the time that he took to meet us and to hear from them of their daily struggles.”

Mr Tuidraki said Narewa villagers and nearby communities depended heavily on the tourism industry for their survival.

“In Narewa alone we have about 200 hotel and resort workers.

“Then we have those living in nearby communities like Yavusania, Sikituru and Namotomoto.

“A lot of families are struggling but they are doing their best to survive.”

He said he hoped the meeting with the ILO director would result in some assistance being provided to the affected workers.

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