The management of Russell Island Plantation Estate Limited (RIPEL) has systematically worked with the government to deal with unresolved RIPEL workers issues.
Confirming this recently, the General Manager of Russell Island Plantation Estate Limited Mr John Whiteside said his team already discussed workers’ illegal settlement issue with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Mr. Whiteside says this is inline with RIPEL’s policy approach.
“We have had meetings with the Prime Minister and we have basically said to the Prime Minister that we are not interested in applying force or anything like that. We would like things to be worked out in a reasonable manner. The company policy is that once you no longer work for RIPEL you are not entitled to stay there, you have to go home.”
Mr Whiteside continues, a repatriation package for the workers is also under discussion.
“So our message that’s gone back to the Government is that we believe the Government needs to look at a wholistic solution to sort this problem out, we understand that quite a big number of workers they want to go home, but they don’t have the ability to go home, they don’t have the funds to go home so we’ve moreorless inform the Government that we believe the Government should be looking at putting a package together that would take care of the workers’ best interest the entitlements that they believe that they’re entitled to, that’s the bottom line where RIPEL is standing.”
SIBC News understands the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Russell Islands Plantation Estate Limited (RIPEL) has conducted a public consultation on RIPEL investment.