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Filipino workers make fresh allegations

March 31, 2021 5:03 pm

Two of seven Filipino seafarers employed by a local shipping company re-visited the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission today making new allegations against their employer.

The workers have been waiting since April last year for a written justification from their employer about their wages being slashed by at least 50 percent without re-reimbursement or reinstatement.

A worker who wishes to remain anonymous says the employer’s action is a clear breach of their contract signed early last year.

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“We asked why you took all the passport. This our personal belonging, every time we want to send money we need the passport, even for going out of the country.”

Another worker who wishes to remain anonymous says they want their passports and other personal documents back so they can return to the Philippines.

The worker also claims they are using their own money to ensure there is enough food for the crew members.

“The ration that they’re giving me is not enough for one week. I used my own money to buy extra chicken, tin fish to sustain the crew. And I also buy my own stuff for my own consumption because I’m a Pilipino, I need to cook my own food.”

Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Director, Ashwin Raj says they have consulted relevant agencies for further legal proceedings and are also waiting for a response from the shipping company.

“We can absolutely confirm this is not the first time we’ve received complaints of this nature against this particular company. Last year we had to assist some of the workers and take them to hospital at our own expense and provide food and so forth.”

Raj stressed that companies found to be violating their employee’s human rights will be taken to task.

FBC News has sent questions to the shipping company and is awaiting a response.

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