SODELPA MP and Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya has started a GoFundMe appealto collect money for the thousands of Water Authority of Fiji Employees who lost their job in mass termination by the authority.
More than 30 people were arrested by police in relation to the “unlawful assembly” according to Fiji Police Force after the terminated employees were waiting for a outcome of meeting which was happening in Suva between WAF and Fiji Trades Union Congress. The terminated employees were released on bail and are to appear in the court later this week.
Two thousand and seventy five employees of the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) had their contracts terminated last week leading to protests and arrests of trade unionists and union members.
The opposition MP Lynda Tabuya said on Monday that close to 800 of the workers had filed grievance claims against the company for unlawful termination and for their collective agreement to be enforced.
“The workers are pursuing action, legal action that the WAF recognises the collective agreement and treats them as permanent workers which means – give them proper notice of termination but also a redundancy package that is fair on them so at least to carry them forward to their next job.”
The aim of the appeal is to raise $US10,000 to help the workers buy food and stationery for their children who return to school this week, Ms Tabuya said. So far, the GoFundMe has been able to garner $3028 of $10000.
FTUC General Secratery and Lynda Tabuya donated USD500 (FJD1,078) each however when we checked later, Lynda Tabuya had refunded her USD500 (FJD1,078)
Initially, there were three people who donated USD500 each which included Lynda Tabuya, Felix Anthony and John Sanday, however when Citizens Journalism Fiji checked the donations today, Ms Tabuya’s name has vanished and only two USD500 donors remain.
Here’s the link to GoFundMe donation page:
“Not only have they faced hardship from being terminated unlawfully but also they aren’t able to access their (Fiji National Provident Fund) superannuation to support their families,” she said.
“Thousands of WAF employees’ futures hang in the balance because they thought that a Government Statutory Authority would be decent enough to provide them with the means to feed their families and put a roof over their head in exchange for an honest day’s labor,” Tabuya wrote on the GoFundMe page.
The employment dispute is still before a tribunal which is expected to sit again on Wednesday in Suva.