SOLOMON ISLANDS' LOGGING STRIKE IN SECOND WEEK

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (October 8, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW) and the Earthmovers group of companies have been urged by the national government to return to the negotiation table in order to end a strike by company workers that now is in its second week.

More than 500 employees working in five logging camps operated by subsidiary companies of Earthmovers in Western, Isabel and Guadalcanal provinces went on strike September 29 in support of increased wage demands.

SINUW General Secretary David Tuhanuku says negotiation is the only way to resolve the dispute, now that the company has elected not to refer the matter to the Solomon Islands Trades Disputes Panel and has not shown a willingness to negotiate.

Meantime, he strike has taken a new twist, with striking workers picketing their respective camps. The logging companies now reportedly are attempting to recruit contract workers to replace those on strike.

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