TCF: Industry decline attributed to rising competition

TCF president Mike Tower during a press conference today. Picture: MONIKA SINGH

THE Textile, Clothing and Footwear Council of Fiji says the industry has already declined because of rising competition, but they are working hard to strike a delicate balance and keep pace knowing that it would be both an economic and social disaster for Fiji should the industry collapse.

TCF president Michael Towler said over the course of the past three years, they had already experienced an NMW increase of 34 per cent — an increase that had been manageable alongside the country’s overall economic growth.

However, he said an immediate increase to $5 equated to a further increase of 87 per cent — an ill-considered and haphazard increase that, when done suddenly and not progressively, would prove unsustainable for the industry.

Mr Towler said it was “reckless and dishonest” of political parties to use the minimum wage debate for their election campaigns and also offered to have the various political parties get together with the TCF and discuss the issue of minimum wage.

“We employ staff at varying wage levels, and a sudden increase in wage rates would send a price shock throughout the entire industry, putting staff at all levels out of their jobs. Simply put, the textile and clothing industry — the lifeblood to thousands of Fijian families — cannot survive in Fiji with these type of sudden wage increases.”

More Stories