Tuesday, 3 March 2009 2:31 PM

Another Company Accused of Physical Abuse

A senior staff of China United (SI) Cooperation Limited has been accused of beating up an employee, Mr. Richard Iro, 23.

Mr. Iro said that he was beaten up and chased from the construction site by the field manager, sustaining serious injuries, bruises were still visible when he showed up to Solomon Times.

"I was bashed because of my refusal to take off a pair of safety shoes, which was given to me to wear," said Iro. "I was confused when the boss was shouting at me...I did not know it was the shoes he was so upset about."

"After taking off the shoes they refused to let me sign out from work so I argued back because I was worried I wouldn't get any payment for that day....that was when they chased me with shovels, timber and threw stone at me, I had to climb over the fence to run away," he said.

Mr. Iro said that the matter is now with the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW). A representative from SINUW said that the matter has been forwarded to the police and the labour division. "We will follow up closely, these are serious breaches of workers' rights," he said. "If these allegations are true then we are looking at having this person deported."

Mr. Iro said that it is quite unfortunate that people coming into the country "treat us like we are nothing." "They are lucky that we have patience...but luckily we have the union to back us up," Mr Iro said.

Peter Liu, Director of China United (SI) Cooperation Limited, stated that the matter is with the police and investigations are underway.

"We cannot make any statement because from what I heard both argued and a fight broke out, so we are confused. However, we will leave it to the police to investigate the matter," he said.

China United (SI) Cooperation Limited is a company based in Australia.

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