Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in the garment factories
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
In a debate with Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on Thursday, I said I would not be surprised if he appeared in a garment factory tomorrow.
And sure enough, today (Friday) he popped up in two garment factories in Valelevu and Nadawa.
I wonder what he told them. Perhaps that if they voted for NFP their employers would close down?
He talks about daggers at people’s necks. Why wouldn’t he threaten their jobs?
It is all threats and intimidation at Fiji First. When will they give Fiji’s people some policies?
I have already said it. An NFP government will have a policy package to support low-wage employers to transit to a $5 per hour living wage for their workers. They will not have to bear the whole burden themselves. But they will have to bear their fair share.
Many garment factories, for example, no longer produce low-cost garments. Many have become high end, niche manufacturers who make good margins on their products. It would be wrong for their owners to profit from poorly paid workers.
We have promised to consult and work together with everyone in everything we do. That includes employers.
We want to deliver a living wage to our poorest workers, without job losses. We will work hard and imaginatively to do it.
But Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and his allies in business do not want to even try.
The difference is clear!
Professor Biman Prasad