Tuvalu News


Tuvaluan workers on Nauru seek bailout

July 8, 2004
Radio New Zealand International:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 7) - Tuvaluan workers stranded without pay in Nauru have turned to their own cash-strapped government for help.

Tuvaluís Secretary For Foreign Affairs And Labor, Tine Leulu, says repatriated workers and those remaining on Nauru have asked the Government to pay their lost wages.

But Leulu says Tuvaluís government has told workers who were hired by Nauru Phosphate Corporation (NPC) that it canít afford to assist.

"This is becoming a national problem as well because Tuvaluan Nauru workers are coming to the Government to see if they can be paid and the government will claim it later from the NPC. Of course we have also our financial constraints."

Mr Leulu says the Government has already repatriated 200 Tuvaluans at a cost of about US$140,000, and a further 100 remain on the island.

He says there are no immediate plans to repatriate them, as the Government believes they will eventually be paid.

Meanwhle the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Saufatu Sopoíaga, has raised the matter with the chairwoman of the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Copyright © 2004 Radio New Zealand International

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