NO PAY, SO SOLOMON ISLANDS PUBLIC SERVANTS GO ON STRIKE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (September 18, 2001 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---Solomon Islands public servants have gone on strike, saying the government failed to resolve outstanding issues during a 28-day cooling off period.

The issues include a call for the government to suspend duty tax remissions to some businesses, to pay all civil servants’ salary arrears and, in the future, pay salaries on due dates.

Earlier the public sector unions had suspended the strike action, on the understanding that the government settle all salary arrears by last week.

However, at a meeting in Honiara members unanimously agreed to go on strike because the government did not meet their requirements.

SIBC News understands police officers are not joining the strike, while it is not clear if all nurses and doctors have joined the protest.

The strike culminates months of financial problems following two years of Guadalcanal-Malaita ethnic conflict and a significant drop in government revenue because of controversial duty remissions to some businesses.

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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