Self-Censorship? Fiji Times Blocks Letter by Distinguished Academic

This letter by Professor  Naidu, a well respected sociologist and head of the Development Studies programme at  USP,  was not published by the Fiji Times. One must ask whether the newspaper  is better now under local ownership or whether it is still serving the interests of business. I doubt this letter was self-censored to protect the FT from Government.  -- Ed.

From: Vijay Naidu
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 3:12 PM
Subject: Fr Kevin Barr's efforts for fair wages for Fiji workers

Dear Sir,
Please find below a letter for the ‘open column’:

“ Professor Wadan Narsey in his 2004 study of wages showed that between 1970 and 2004, one billion Fijian dollars  that should have gone to workers went instead to their employers. Indeed, he has maintained that in real terms real wages on average are below what they were in the 1970s.  In support of Fr Barr’s protest over the workings of the wages councils, I make the following observations: first, wages councils were established to improve the wages of non-unionised workers. Second, as in previous years since 2008, according to Fr Barr, the wages councils have again proved to be ineffective, even though as chair he was deeply committed to fair wages. Third, the 10 to 15 percent increase in wages recommended by the wages councils actually amounts to 25cents an hour increase for workers earning $2.50 an hour, and 30 cents an hour for workers earning $3.00 an hour. Good employers have agreed to such wage increases.

Turning, to Yogesh Kumar’s letter (FT, 24/08) and Nesbit Hazelman’s   statement (FT, 25/08) I would like to ask Mr Kumar to provide evidence of workers covered by the wages councils getting rich while their employers have lost everything. A good proportion of these workers live in informal and low cost housing areas who  have suffered immensely during recent natural disasters.

Mr Hazelman has stated that “economics and poverty is like mixing oil and water at some places..” but for his information any first year student of economics will tell him that economics is about improving human welfare through economic growth. At the heart of welfare expansion is addressing poverty.  

Overall world poverty levels have declined mainly because those living below the poverty line in China and Vietnam have shared in the wealth that they have generated. The question is when will this happen in Fiji.”

Vijay Naidu


rusi said…
Notice how Crosbie Walsh isn't rushing to look into or analyse the sudden departure of the chief registrar? None too convenient for the commentator who defends to the hilt the 'independent judiciary' that is sooo much better than the one that was sacked. Notice how newspapaer are gibven no information by the regime on the circumstances and then of course print next to nothing about it apart from she is leaving.All too negative and distrscting i suppose from the 'greater goals' of the military regime. In relation to the letter, you 'doubt', so you don't know.This regime doesn't want to hear about anything that doesn't promote them.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Rusi ...Rushing in is seldom wise. Witness my telling off about my Bjij Lal item (Wed.19th) I wonder what you will think of my "The Mystery of Justice William Marshall" published Thursday 20th.

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