PRIME Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, in announcing a 12.5 per cent pay rise for 1,188 staff of Pacific Fishing Company Limited, emphasized that the greatest asset for a company is its people.

As he officiated at the opening of the $16.4 million new cold storage facility, Prime Minister Bainimarama thanked the workers of PAFCO for their hard work and dedication, their grit and determination which has made the massive investment possible.

He said while leadership and support was important, the Government recognizes that above all else, the greatest asset to a company are the workers.

“This pay increase will be backdated to 1 January 2018, meaning that all of the work that you’ve put in so far this year will be back-paid at this higher rate. I thank each of you, and offer my congratulations,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

PAFCO board chairman, Ikbal Jannif said the company pays $8m annually to staff and in turn supports the livelihood of close to 5,000.

After being accorded a full traditional ceremony of welcome, Prime Minister Bainimarama opened the cold storage facility that will increase PAFCO holding capacity from 3,000 to 4,000 metric tonnes.

“Today, the normal daily production is 80 metric tonnes, or, in terms of whole fish, around 6,400 fish per day. With more fish in stock, PAFCO will be able to increase production when it’s needed most,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

The company will also be making a saving of $100,000 that it had to fork out annually in the maintenance of the old storage.

The Government has provided a loan of $9 million, another $6 m has been provided by Bubble Bee, one of the main customers of PAFCO, while the company itself has contributed $1.4m.

PAFCO provides one of the main economic activity not only for Ovalau but for the whole of Lomaviti Group.

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