Quick Change of Plans: Fiji Water Back in Business
Looks like Fiji's government called the bluff by Fiji Water. I wrote yesterday about how the bottled water company announced they were closing up shop in Fiji after the government announced a tax hike for the company. But Anna Lenzer reports today that there's already an about-face by Fiji Water:
On Monday, Fijian press reported that Fiji Water had ordered its entire 400-person workforce dismissed immediately, even though the tax wouldn't take effect until next year. "Workers stood in shocked silence," and "many openly wept" as general manager Paul Davies informed them of the company's decision to send them home, the Fiji Times said. (The company also announced a halt to its various charity projects in Fiji.)
After the government didn't take the bait and refused to back down (apparently this little charade worked for Fiji Water a few years ago), the company decided to suck it up and pay the tax. They're still likely to make a killing off their product, of course though as Lenzer writes, "Fiji Water has for years operated through a network of international tax havens such as Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, and Switzerland." The company may be back in business, but at the very least the world got a closer look at how Fiji Water does business, and it's not classy, to say the least.