NATIONWIDE SOLOMON ISLANDS STRIKE POSTPONED

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (September 10, 2001 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---The threat of a nationwide strike by Solomon Islands government employees over unpaid salaries has been postponed.

However, a general meeting of workers in Honiara agreed that the 28-day strike notice, which expired at midnight, will remain in force, and public servants reserve the right to strike at any time.

The meeting, attended by nearly 1,000 public servants, followed a meeting between union leaders and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and senior government officials.

Public sector unions want Finance Minister Snyder Rini sacked, remission of duty taxes on some businesses to be revoked, and all pay arrears to be cleared. The move comes amidst a growing financial crisis following two years of Guadalcanal-Malaita ethnic conflict and the paying of compensation claims following a peace agreement.

Prime Minister Sogavare is now expected to present to the Cabinet a proposal that will enable the issues to be dealt with expeditiously.

Meanwhile, Governor General Sir John Ini Lapli said he is stunned by the current situation in the country.

Sir John, in a broadcast to the nation, said while no one person could be blamed, those responsible must realize they have wrecked the economy.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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